Today is an important day for all Orthodox Christians, celebrating Epiphany. And this year the big religious holiday coincides with the beginning of the World’s week for Christian Unity (celebrates between 18-25 January). I was invited to join a pilgrimage walk in the Delsjön area in the East part of Gothenburg. I agreed with pleasure, and it was an amazing time!
The course I am studying with is incredibly diverse. One of my course mates, Barbara Moss, is the priest-in-charge at St Andrew’s Church in Gothenburg (part of the Church of England) is also one of the University chaplains (studentpräst – in Swedish) to work with students and staff at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers. She was the initiator of the idea of pilgrimage walk this Saturday.
Slanting rays of the winter sun tangled in the trees around the lake. Several travelers silently walked down the path. They could hear the scrape of snow underfoot. They have suddenly stopped. And one of them said: Today we are walking together to celebrate diversity of the Christian congregations, and to pray for the Christian unity.
The modern world is bright and diverse. We have different color of skin, cultural values and beliefs, different worships and nationalities. But the diversity is not the reason for separation and prejudices. No matter who you are, or who you love – we are together in spite of our differences and the respect to others makes the linkage strong and solid. This is the way I understand the Unity. Not only Unity of Christians, but of all people around the world.
We were walking together several hours. Sometimes we kept silent; sometimes we became very talkative, shared our reflections and experience. We were of different ages, background and congregations. And honestly, it was so touching to listen to the inspiring stories of people’s lives, dreams about the future.
It was a nice Saturday walk, with lots of fresh cold air, wonderful companions, and reflections on what bring all people together.