Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18, 2023

Learning to do the right thing

Isaiah 1:12-18 Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan; plead for
the widow.
Luke 10:25-36 He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

According to Isaiah, God wants Judah not only to practice justice but to embrace the principle of
always doing the right thing. God wants us not only to care for orphans and widows but to do what is
right and good for them and anyone marginalised by society. The Hebrew word for good is yaw-tab’ and
it means to be glad, joyful, pleasing, to do well, to make something beautiful.
To be Christian means to be a disciple. All Christians sit under the Word of God, learning together
what it is to do good, and who it is that stands in need of this solidarity. As society becomes more
indifferent to the needs of others, we, as the children of God, must learn to take up the cause of our
oppressed brothers and sisters by speaking truth to power and, if necessary, plead their case so that
they may live in peace with justice. In doing this we will always do the right thing!
Our commitment to eradicate and to be healed of the sin of racism requires us to be prepared and
willing to be in relationship with our Christian sisters and brothers.

Christian Unity
A lawyer asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus’ response asks us to see beyond the divisions
of religion, tribe and nationality to recognise our neighbour in need. Christians likewise must see
beyond these divides and the divisions within the Christian family to recognise and love our brothers
and sisters in Christ.

Who are the marginalised or oppressed in your society? How might churches together walk with these brothers and sisters,respond to their need and speak up on their behalf?

Further Discussion – Canadian Context
• Religion and culture have been intertwined throughout the history of the world; a multicultural
Canada implies a multi-religious Canada. What barriers and challenges have your churches
encountered when considering who is your neighbour in Canada?
• Invite participants to create a timeline of events from the establishment of the Residential
School system in Canada up to the present, with as many items as are known by the group
collectively. For comparison and/or further study, look up The Canadian Encyclopaedia’s
online Timeline of Residential Schools

Lord, you called your people from slavery into freedom,
Give us strength and courage to seek out those who are standing in need of justice. Allow us to see this
need and provide help, and through your Holy Spirit gather us into the one fold of Jesus Christ, our
Shepherd. Amen.