With Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, and Taize services, the denominations of host churches for this year’s 10 Days Boston evening gatherings was more diverse than ever before. There were 19 different churches present the first night in Cambridge! Additionally, the Indian gathering brought together five different Indian people groups for the first time!
18 churches represented at the first night in Cambridge
With this diversity, though, comes the difficulty of defining the unity we share in Christ. The 10 Days theme that we chose this year was “One Heart” – When Jesus prays that we would be one as He is one, what does that mean? Who is involved in this oneness?
At one of the evening gatherings, I was sitting down for a time of fellowship, and one of the women asked me what my home church was. I told her that it was an evangelical church called Journey Church in Harvard Square. She turned to another lady at the table and asked, “Is she a Christian?” and then they spoke in five minutes in another language before determining that yes, I was.
This was an external example of the question that I believe we all are wrestling with. Is this denomination really following Jesus? Is this person really “saved?” Who is “in” and who is “out?”
But perhaps this is the wrong question for us to be asking. In engaging with brothers and sisters of different Christian streams, I believe our approach towards one another should be filled with grace and love rather than suspicion or judgement. We should seek to learn and understand, by asking “Who have you put your trust in?” and “What is your relationship with Jesus like?”
The bible describes that the unity we share in Christ as a unity not of doctrine but of Spirit (Eph. 4:3, 1 Cor 12:7, Phil 1:27). When I started to think about it, I’ve discovered that any two individuals don’t agree completely due to the nuances of theological understandings.
As Rev. JP Robins and the Northern Suburbs team grappled with the question: “What unites us and who do we unite with?” they determined that “We are one with whoever confesses ‘Jesus as Lord.'”
Yes, what makes us one is our revelation of Christ – our acknowledgement that before Him we are all desperate for His redeeming grace.
We must never lose the centrality of Jesus in our quest for unity because He is the only one who unites us.
There’s truly nothing like getting to spend time with God, and one man who was able to join us for the majority of the daytime gatherings, remarked, “That was the best week of my life.”
A young couple was so inspired by the 10 Days vision after the first night in Cambridge that they traveled around the city every evening, making it to eight of the 10 Days gatherings with their young one-year-old son.
Here is a video clip
from one of our morning worship sessions out in front of Harvard University. As you can see, God really released His joy over us and many students came to join in the dance!
At the last gathering of 10 Days Boston, we stood in front of a wall of windows overlooking Boston to make declarations over the city. We also divided into groups and shared about how God was working among our various communities.
Worshipping and praying over the city of Boston
Night 2 – Pastors in the Northern Suburbs uniting in prayer
Night 5 – UniteBoston friends coming together for the Taize prayer gathering at Trinity Church
Connecting with God at the Fenway gathering on Night 7
Night 9 – Father Dimitri explains about the history of the Orthodox Church
We praise God for the work that He has done to unite followers of Jesus during 10 Days Boston this year. We also celebrate the many other unity-minded initiatives that are bringing together the body of Christ in Greater Boston.
May God continue to bind us together to proclaim that Jesus is Lord over Boston!