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Gironde

Reconciliation: Prayer for Christian Unity

cross of reconciliationA fragment of the Berlin wall, in the shape of a cross is used as a symbol of the need for reconciliation during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Joining with Christians around the world, members of the Chaplaincy have been moved to participate in the many services taking place throughout south west France, underlining the warmth of friendship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters from the Roman Catholic, United Protestant, Eglise Evangélique, and Orthodox congregations.

This year’s theme ‘Reconciliation – the Love of Christ Compels us’ (2 Cor. 5.14) focused upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and a recognition of the pain of the subsequent deep divisions that afflicted the unity of the Church. As well as looking back 500 years, a more recent symbol of division was used - the Berlin Wall - to reflect on the meaning of reconciliation.

During the services a symbolic wall was constructed, and as each sin was named ‘lack of love’, ‘hate and contempt’, ‘false accusation’, ‘discrimination’, ‘persecution’, ‘broken communion’, ‘intolerance’, ‘religious wars and conflicts’, ‘division’, ‘abuse of power’, ‘isolation’, ‘pride’, a ‘stone’ was brought forward. Following a prayer for reconciliation the wall was dismantled, and the ‘stones’ were laid in the shape of a cross. The Berlin Wall was brought down by ordinary people lighting a candle and saying a prayer. May we be compelled by the love of Christ to live reconciled lives and to break down the walls that divide.