Today (Thursday, January 20) marks the third day in the eight day Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. During this week, daily scripture references, meditation and prayer will be offered for readers’ reflection. (Material provided courtesy of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, Garrison, New York.)
Day 3, Devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching…
Isaiah 51:4-8, Listen to me, my people.
Psalm 119:105-112, Your word is a lamp to my feet.
Romans 1:15-17, Eagerness to proclaim the gospel.
John 17:6-19, I have made your name known.
The apostles’ teaching was their witness to the life, teaching, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. The apostles’ teaching is exemplified by St. Peter’s preaching on the day of Pentecost and his use of the prophet Joel. He connects the Church with the biblical story of the people of God.
The Word of God gathers and unites us despite divisions. The apostles’ teaching, the good news in all its fullness, was at the center of unity in diversity. It is not simply the “apostles’ teaching” that united the earliest church, but devotion to that teaching. Such devotion is reflected in St. Paul’s identifying the gospel as “the power of God for salvation.”
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God’s teaching is inseparable from God’s “justice for a light to the peoples.” Or as the psalmist prays, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.”
God of Light, we give you thanks for the revelation of your truth in Jesus Christ which we have received through the apostles’ teaching. May your Holy Spirit continue to sanctify us in the truth of your Son, so that united in him we may grow in devotion to the Word, and together serve your Kingdom in humility and love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.