2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2)

2020, 23 pp

This year’s theme calls us to move from shared prayer to shared action. The international resources for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by colleagues in Malta. The 2020 theme, “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2), remembers the historic shipwreck of Paul on the island of Malta and calls us to a greater generosity to those in need.

The materials for the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the Christian churches in Malta and Gozo (Christians Together in Malta). On 10th February many Christians in Malta celebrate the Feast of the Shipwreck of St Paul, marking and giving thanks for the arrival of Christian faith on these islands. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles used for the feast is the text chosen for this year’s Week of Prayer.

Today many people are facing the same terrors on the same seas. The very same places named in the reading (27:1, 28:1) also feature in the stories of modern-day migrants. In other parts of the world many others are making equally dangerous journeys by land and sea to escape natural disasters, warfare and poverty. Their lives, too, are at the mercy of immense and coldly indifferent forces – not only natural, but political, economic and human. This human indifference takes various forms: the indifference of those who sell places on unseaworthy vessels to desperate people; the indifference of the decision not to send out rescue boats; and the indifference of turning migrant ships away. This names only a few instances. As Christians together facing these crises of migration this story challenges us: do we collude with the cold forces of indifference, or do we show “unusual kindness” and become witnesses of God’s loving providence to all people?

The reflections for the eight days and the worship service will be focused on the text from the Acts of the Apostles. The themes for the eight days are:

  • Day 1: Reconciliation: Throwing the cargo overboard
  • Day 2: Enlightenment: Seeking and showing forth Christ’s light
  • Day 3: Hope: Paul’s message
  • Day 4: Trust: Do not be afraid, believe
  • Day 5: Strength: Breaking bread for the journey
  • Day 6: Hospitality: Show unusual kindness
  • Day 7: Conversion: Changing our hearts and minds
  • Day 8: Generosity: Receiving and giving
--from the General Commentary on the Text

For further resources (tips, children's story, hymn suggestions, and more) visit weekofprayer.ca.

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