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Weekly Reflection - “Let there be no divisions among you”

22 October 2021

Canon Peter

Wasn’t it moving to see politicians from across the political divides speaking well of each other and laying aside their differences as they made their tributes in the Houses of Parliament on Monday?

As we reel from the shock of the tragic murder of David Amess MP, we are forced to consider how we can build a more united and cohesive Britain. Abusive social media, hate speech, radicalization are all topics that fill our news headlines and they are certainly harsh realities of life in the UK but they don’t tell the whole story.

How many examples of unity can you point to from your life over the past week?

Here’s a look back on my week….

Sunday: joyful new choristers and families joining the cathedral community through Byrd song

Monday: vision building day for leaders from different streams of the church in Wakefield

Tuesday: council, business and cathedral leaders coming together to plan festive events for our city

Wednesday: discussion evening bringing together a mix of ages to share their struggles and talk about faith

Thursday: council and community leaders planning a party to welcome recently arrived refugees

How about your week?

I hope, like me, you are encouraged to find examples of unity. Let’s counter the narrative of hate with a narrative of unity and hope. There is so much to celebrate and give thanks for!

One of the earliest Christian writings, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, is all about overcoming divisions through a determination to be united.

“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

At the heart of Paul’s vision for the first Christian communities was a determination to see people with different cultural, economic and educational backgrounds coming together. People with different ideas and interpretations making a commitment to be united. Without unity there is no church. The appeal Paul is making is an urgent one. If unity can’t be found then Paul fears for the future. Living in harmony isn’t an optional extra, it’s an essential part of being Christian. Let’s do all we can as individuals and as a cathedral community to make a positive and determined response to the death of an MP by building unity and overcoming any divisions among us.

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