Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May, 06th, 2021
Community not uniformity
Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935) a german protestant theologian and writer, with his wife Emmy founder of the Bruderhof Community (1920).
Only if we have willing, sincere, and open hearts will we find unanimity in our convictions. We have never found it disturbing when people have come to us representing convictions that differ from ours. On the contrary, that is more fruitful than if we had no chance to hear opposing ideas.
We believe that a free exchange of ideas can help people to recognize the truth, thanks to a Spirit that does not originate with us human beings. Then, no matter how diverse our opinions may have been, through the ultimate truth we will all be united. Each one will bring from the storehouse of his earlier convictions, those elements that are true, and will find these again. And the more varied our different backgrounds are, the richer the fruits of the diversity will be. A united conviction can never be produced by forcing anyone to comply. Only the Holy Spirit with his power of inner persuasion leads people from freedom of opinions to true unity. (May 1933)
Eberhard Arnold: God’s Revolution (The Plough Publishing House 1997, p 38.)
Prepared by our brothers and sisters of Hautecombe Abbey, France.
To adapt according to the place of worship
1/ This summer a friendship meeting between young Christians and Muslims should take place at Taize on the theme: “ To act together for human brotherhood and the safeguarding of Creation.” Besides sharing the daily life of the Taize brothers, there will be meetings and workshops with the object of sharing knowledge between Christian and Muslims.
Lord, we give you thanks for this initiative. Come and direct the preparation of this event and prepare the hearts all who will participate in it.
2/ Like many other churches, the Anglican church in Lyon, Trinity Church, still cannot meet for worship. Like others, they are obliged to limit the numbers they can welcome, thus preventing many of the faithful from being able to participate.
Lord, we entrust to you all those who are suffering because they have not been able to gather together and pray with their Christian community for a long time. Come and give them the grace to find strength in other ways, and to find hope and join you.
3/ At this moment the large 30 day retreat is in progress at Hautecombe Abbey. Among the participants there can be found fathers and mothers of families, young people doing a one year formation and members of the Chemin Neuf Community, from many nationalities and Christian confessions.
Lord, we thank you for having gathered each these retreatants for this time of intimacy with you. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead them with strength and gentleness.