For sure most of the readers have heard the term ‘Ecumenism’. Briefly, ecumenism refers to the different efforts undertaken by Christians who pertain to various church traditions, to work and develop a closer relationship and better understanding between them.
Ecumenism normally relates to the different dialogues undertaken between the various Christian churches with the hope of reaching unity amongst them. All this is very positive and highly recommended to continue and to develop further. Ecumenism brings hope to all Christians of good faith that someday unity may prevail.
However, through ecumenism, society is now hoping to experience the fruits of such dialogues between different churches. Society requires that Christians go beyond dialogue in attempting to reach unity; society requires the efforts of all Christians together, in spite of the distinction of the different Christian churches, to work together in unity for the benefit of society. Society is in need of having Christians being united and bringing Christ to the people.
It is very painful to see different Christian churches not joining efforts to do acts of love to their neighbour, whoever he may be. Whenever Christian churches join together (while respecting their difference in opinion, tradition etc.) to concretely help those around them, that is when true unity is done, that is when Jesus is fully proclaimed to the people, to society.
If truly, Christians belonging to different churches want to see a change in society, want to see Jesus proclaimed to society, first and foremost Christians are to join their efforts together, to do projects together, to share the Good News together, and bring the Gospel to every corner of the world. This is what Jesus wants and desires for society.
I am convinced that this is possible, that Christians of different churches can come together to share the Good News. I have especially experienced this in the late 80’s to mid 90’ when I used to evangelize together with a Catholic youth group and later with a Catholic missionary group I used to form part of. There were occasions when we used to evangelize in the streets of Germany and in other European countries, and in certain occasions we joined forces with other Christian groups belonging to a different church. I recall the times when we used to share to the people the Good News together, together pray with the people on the streets and together bring healing to their lives. All we did was to let go of the differences between us as Christians coming from different churches. When we evangelized, we let Jesus be present amongst us through the unity that was created, and through the Holy Spirit we evangelized to the people and brought Jesus to them.
Christian unity is possible. Society is waiting for Christians to take the step to be united and spread the Good News.
(This reflection is an extract from my book ‘Waking up the sleeping giant’)