REFLECTIONS: Rev Isabel Dowlen

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From the Rev Isabel Dowlen, minister of St Michael’s & All Angels, Elie, and St John the Evangelist, Pittenweem.

AT the end of January, we hold the ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The churches come together to pray for unity; acknowledging that we are all one in Christ.

Yet, one of the things that is important for us to acknowledge is we are all very different from one another.

We have been given a wonderful biological mix, which produces enormous variety even between members of the same family.

Add to these differences in experience and upbringing – it is a wonder we can manage to understand each other at all!

It is in our nature to delight in fellowship and we do hate to be left out of things, but when we come together, often we find each group does things differently.

We have to acknowledge this diversity is part of God’s gift to us; both individual diversity and in groups.

God delights in it and we should too.

Where then do Christians find unity?

God has given His only begotten Son for us and it is in the acceptance of God’s love; the love of God, shown to us in Christ Jesus our Lord, that all Christians find unity.

Not only unity but a rejoicing in this redeeming love which transforms our lives and we want to share with those around us.

Here is a contemporary creed that demonstrates our points of unity. This is a modern translation by H. J. Richards.

Christians believe in the God whom Jesus called Father, who gives life to all things.

Christians believe in the man from Nazareth

Who brought the mysterious God close to us,

Who showed what it means to be a Son of God,

Who was willing to die for his belief,

Who lives on by the power of God in his friends,

Who will come again to say who his real friends are.

Christians believe in the friends of Jesus,

Who live the way he did in his Spirit,

Who bring God close to all other people,

Who tell people the good news that they are forgiven,

Who build up peace on earth,

Who know that a better world is possible, and who work to make it come true.

Love, Grace and Peace.

Rev Dowlen writes in the East Fife Mail