The difference praying for unity can make in our lives and congregations
Silence, prayer, work, worship. Mennonites living like this? We tried it. Thirty years ago we were guests for 11 weeks of the Community of Grandchamp near Neuchâtel, Switzerland, whose sisters live by the Taizé rule of life as a part of the Swiss Reformed Church.
The sisters’ noon prayer, centered on the Beatitudes, always concluded with Jesus’ own prayer for his followers: “May they all be one” (John 17.21). They want Jesus’ prayer to shape their day and change their world—that there may be unity among Christians.
We were astonished by this daily repetition. After all, we were Mennonites. We thought, Weren’t we the ones committed to do what Jesus taught and did? Unlike other Christians who paid too little attention to the Sermon on the Mount, who fought their enemies and swore oaths, we Mennonites were faithful to Jesus. Yet the Grandchamp sisters also listened to Jesus. Further, they prayed with him, using his very words, that his followers may all be one, as the Father and the Son are one …