By Ryan Thurman
This morning we had the privilege of visiting the catacombs of St. Callixtus, where many of our Christian brothers were buried. It is a powerful reminder of the many who gave their lives for the testimony of Jesus. We stand upon their shoulders and have received the faith that was passed down from them.
We experienced this reality in a beautifully symbolic way as we held a worship service in a small chapel that was built on top of the catacombs. This service was led in such a humble and honoring cooperation by a Catholic bishop, An Anglican priest, a Catholic priest, and two Lutheran pastors. During the service these leaders washed our feet following Jesus command to serve and love one another.
It was a beautiful expression of the body of Christ and a sign of why we are here in Rome, to pray that the Church would be reconciled and restored and we would all be one (John 17:21). These meetings have been full of prayer, worship, repentance, teaching, and strengthening of friendship. We are 70 strong from different contingents, ages and Christian tradition.
Our days are long, from sunrise to late into the night. We sense God is deeply at work, we have 3 more days of meetings, please pray for us. This is our fourth International Gathering in four years. There will be one more June 2016 and the final will culminate Nov 1st 2017 around the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 thesis which often symbolizes the split of the Catholic church by the Protestant reformation. If you would like to learn more about this you can click here.