Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May, 13th, 2021
During Eastertide we are following several modern spiritual authors from the reformed tradition.
The Holy Spirit gathers
Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935) a german protestant theologian and writer, with his wife Emmy founder of the Bruderhof Community.
God, who created all things and without whom nothing has come into being, sent His Holy Spirit upon the earth and to all people. This Spirit wants to gather all, to bring them together. Jesus was placed in the world by this Spirit to live among people, and He in turn testified to the gathering power of the Holy Spirit, saying, “How often would I have gathered your children; but you would not let me.” (Matt. 23:37) But He was taken away from those who did not want to let themselves be gathered. He was killed by the spirit that scatters, by the power that drives apart. (Matt. 12:30) Yet He, the Living One, returned to His own. “Receive the Holy Spirit! As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21–22) “What you gather on earth will be gathered; what you loose will be loosed; and what you bind will be bound.” (Matt. 18:18) From that moment on, all those whose hearts were gripped by this Spirit felt the need to be together. Under the stress of their sorrow they stayed together and waited in holy expectation. Those were long weeks of waiting. This tense expectancy must always be there before a complete uniting can be given. Unity is not accomplished by a meeting of minds, by a coalition of individual human spirits. It is found exclusively through the coming down and breaking in of that Spirit which is not a human spirit. (Nov 1932)
Eberhard Arnold: God’s Revolution (The Plough Publishing House 1997, p 41.)
Prepared by François & Laurence Cartier.
To adapt according to the place of worship
1/ On January 20th, Inauguration Day, the new President of the United States, Joe Biden, swore the Oath and took up his functions at the White House.
Holy Spirit we ask you to blow a breath of unity and reconciliation on the American people who are heavily tested by their partisan divisions.
2/ The movement ‘John 17’ gathers together the leaders of churches, evangelical christians, pentecostals and catholics who commit to work together for unity. For the last few years they regularly visit Pope Francis in Rome for gatherings of fellowship.
Holy Spirit we ask you to strengthen, console and answer the numerous people from diverse denominations who work in the United States for the visible unity of the Body of Christ.
3/ The United States was the cradle of the Pentecostal movement which passed on to the traditional churches how to welcome the grace of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, we ask you to fan into a flame the fire of Your presence and your action in all the Pentecostal churches. In particular we entrust to you Scott and Lynne and Bethel Church in California.