Colossians 1:1-5 – In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you.
When I was younger, I went to my first service in a Roman Catholic Church and what a culture shock for a small town Presbyterian! Smells and bells and whistles greeted me, and kneel down, stand up and turn to page what in what book?
When I was older I went to an Orthodox service and even the Roman Catholic seemed familiar and staid compared to what I experienced that day.
Since then I have been in temple, synagogue, sweat lodge, and the silence of a Quaker Meeting House. The diverse expressions I have experienced in worship cannot overwhelm the one reality I always remember – the one gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When language and culture and creed and confession get in the way, I am grateful for the reminder that it is the same Jesus Christ who is being preached, and he is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thanks be to God for the unity of the Gospel and for the diversity of our expression.
Prayer: Inspire in your church a rich sharing across cultures so that the heritages of all peoples may be offered to you, Triune God, who alone are worthy of glory and honour, at all times and in all places, through Jesus Christ. Amen. (WCC prayer)