Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May 19th, 2022
Triumph through self-sacrifice
Entrusting one’s whole life to the whole of Christ: this is what changes and renews everything. Because it would be a lie and madness to give only half of one’s life to a Christ who would have been amputated from a part of what he is. The Spirit of life prevents choosing certain guidelines or certain elements of faith selectively. Truth is indivisible, just like Christ. To not want to adopt the attitude which was his in all things is to reject him. The most subtle arguments to justify our lukewarm nature do not allow us to escape his judgment: “Who is not with me is against me.”
Some wish to hear, read or learn this or that about Jesus while seeking to eliminate the seemingly impossible through an interpretation that weakens his words. Their life, as Christian as it may seem, does not hold water. […]
The whole Christ wants us whole. He likes the decision. He prefers his enemies to half-convinced friends. He hates counterfeiting more than opposition. He hates being lukewarm, grey, opposed, what is diffuse, mixed, pious speeches that do not commit to anything… He sweeps it all away as soon as he gets near it.
[…] An encounter with Jesus has nothing to do with fleeting feelings. He forever brings the absolute of the Kingdom of God or he gives nothing. Only those who accept him completely and forever can know him and discover the mystery of the Kingdom of God. […]
The experience of life in Jesus Christ is always a test, or else it is an illusion. It proves to be authentic if we remain firmly attached to the original source, to the path in its totality, to its ultimate future. This is how it can hold out until the end. The invincible love that comes from the Spirit is manifested if we recognise Christ in his totality, without stopping at ideas or experiences.
Excerpt from: Salt and Light by Eberhard Arnold (1883 – 1935, German protestant theologist), 2017, Plough Publishing House pp. 111-117
Prepared by our brothers and sisters from Lille, France
To be used as appropriate
In unity with our brothers and sisters of the Community in Lille and at the Imago house and, in the deep desire for Unity between our Churches, we turn to You, Lord, and we pray to You.
1 / From May 13 to 16, more than 70 young people from the Chemin Neuf Political Fraternity met in Rome for a weekend dedicated to issues related to migration. It was at the heart of this weekend that Pope Francis received in private audience these young people of more than 16 nationalities, committed to the common good and at the service of the poorest.
Lord, we entrust to you all the people forced to leave their countries, give us a broad and generous heart so that we know how to welcome them and live together a true universal brotherhood.
2/On May 20 and 21, the annual meeting of the Federation of Christian Media will take place in Paris, which brings together audiovisual actors from different Churches, wishing to join forces in evangelising.
Lord, we pray that, following the example of ‘The Chosen’ series, new ecumenical initiatives may be born and develop to announce Christ on the digital continent and reach young people in particular.
3/ In its ecumenical dimension, the diocese of Lille is aware of the reception of migrants: the parish of the Madeleine welcomes in particular Eritrean Christians from an Eastern Orthodox Church for their celebrations. There is a real issue of mutual understanding here.
Lord, give the diocese of Lille a new ecumenical breath, give our Churches the desire for mutual attention in order to persevere on this path of encounters and sharing. May trust grow between them!