Bind Us Together

Sue reflects on togetherness

When I lived in Middlesbrough, this hymn was the sort of ‘anthem’ of our house group – we would sing it at the end of each meeting, and, of course, we would join hands. Similarly, we often join hands when saying the Grace. Now, though, that is not possible. I hope you have been able to find the 10.0 service from All Saints, streamed on the website and Facebook – or maybe you found a different one, or listened on the radio, or watched one on T.V.

No, it’s not the same, not being in physical contact with our church friends – but I did feel connected, nonetheless, as I pictured folks in their homes in front of their screens, listening and joining in the Service, just like me: and I started to think about what it means to be joined as the All Saints Family. I also remember the Little Saints telling us on one occasion, that they had been thinking about different groups we/they might belong to: family, class, football team, scouts, church, etc.

I shall pick out two or three that apply to me: The Anglican Church, Churches Together, particularly Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, World Day of Prayer, Mothers’ Union.

In all of these, we are linked together with many other people, most, or all of whom, we never meet physically. The Church follows the Bible readings set out in the Lectionary, day by day, week by week, service by service. All over the world Christians are reading, hearing, studying the same words of Scripture as me.

In January, there is The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. A theme and prayers, worship plans, etc. are provided, so that all over the world there are people, just like me, using the same thoughts and ideas as we remember Jesus’ desire that we should all be one.

Two months later, there is the World Day of Prayer when, all over the world, we share the service that has been prepared by Christian Women from the country that that year has been chosen to write the service and give their particular ‘take’ on that year’s theme. I shall never see them but we feel very ‘together’ as we close every year with “The Day thou gavest - - ” with the words, “The sun that bids us rest is waking our brethren ‘neath the western sky,”.

Mothers’ Union has members all over the world, all praying and working for the support of family life. At midday we traditionally stop to pray for members, particularly mentioning that day’s group of dioceses, so I can be sure that someone somewhere is praying for me.

Now it is like that at our local church. We can still share our love and concern for each other, our prayers, and the knowledge that the rest of the congregation are all doing the same thing.

So we don’t need to be actually meeting together to feel part of God’s world-wide family – we are united by God’s Spirit shared amongst us all.