Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, May 26th, 2022
Living today the Kingdom of tomorrow
As crowds came to him to be baptized, to find forgiveness and a new life, John sensed that another must bring the Spirit: the Spirit who transforms, who sanctifies, and without whom, a new order cannot be established. This other was the Messiah, the just and peaceful King of God’s Kingdom. The most important event in the life of John the Baptist was recognize the one he was waiting for in the person of Jesus.
Jesus took John’s message. It was clear for John that God would establish an earthly kingdom in the future. It was no different for Jesus. He too was certain that the Kingdom of God was near at hand. Everything he said spoke of the dramatic change he expected God would bring to our earthly life and relationships.
Jesus did indeed baptize in the Holy Spirit. If we let his words act within us, we are seized by a fresh wind which penetrates the depth of our being. We are transported into a new sphere, where a strength and joy we have not known before is found. Jesus said of John the Baptist, who evoked the Kingdom of God without naming it: “What is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit.” and “no one, except he who is born of water and the Spirit, can enter the Kingdom of God.”
For Jesus, without this new birth, it is impossible to enter the Kingdom of God. It is only through a religious and moral renewal born of the life in the Spirit, that we will discover the means to genuine social renewal and change.
Excerpt from: Salt and Light by Eberhard Arnold (1883 – 1935, German protestant theologist), 2017, Plough Publishing House pp. 140- 141
Prepared by our brothers and sisters in Belgium and the Netherlands
To be used as appropriate
In union with our brothers and sisters of the Community in Belgium and the Netherlands and in the deep desire for Unity between our Churches, we turn to You, Lord, and we pray .
1 / With the war in Ukraine, Churches in the Netherlands and other countries have launched new initiatives for prayer and action to promote peace.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Prince of Peace. May these ecumenical initiatives and prayers help to make us artisans of peace. “Give us your peace – dona nobis pacem! »
2/In Belgium, the Ecumenical Council of Antwerp will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
Father, we pray for the Unity of the Christians of Belgium and in our own country; for all Chrisitans and churches who are engaged in cooperation, encounter and common prayer
3/ After two years of Covid, the Dutch group “Sela,” composed of musicians from different Christian Churches, began a tour of praise concerts.
Holy Spirit, we bless you for the gift of music and praise that can open paths of Unity and break down walls of separation. May we learn to sing new songs of praise in our churches. Come, Holy Spirit, renew us with your fire of love.