Anniversary can be moments of joy. “Thank God we made it this far!”
They can be times of reflection. “Ah, remember the good old days!”
They can be times of hope. “Let’s make it another good year!”
This year as we celebrate 36 years of the Uniting Church I am reminded again of why it was we came together and it is this which shapes my response. That in and through Jesus Christ unity is God’s gift and will for the church.
Here is a gift we have received in fullness but not yet for the church is not one at least in any visible way. By coming together the 3 uniting churches the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterians acted in penitence, turning towards one another and so also God’s gift and will for unity, but as they did so they also acted as witness to the church and world, this unity is not for us alone.
Institutional unity amongst the churches may not be necessary to achieve the unity to which God calls us, yet seeking reconciliation and unity with other Christians remains a calling from God.
Jesus prayed ‘that they may be one so that the world might beleive’. We are neither one nor has the world come to believe.
So on this anniversary the moment I find my response is this “May we remember God gifts and will and may we learn to be one.”