Service for Christian Unity,
Thursday, April 28th, 2022
No compromise and no darkness!
It must be emphasized that uncompromising love is not synonymous with softness, weakness, or refusal to fight. On the contrary, anyone who absolutely wants peace must fight against all the spiritual powers that oppose peace and love. But this fight excludes inflicting harm or killing, because no one is authorized to judge their neighbor and to declare that they are definitely wicked, must be rejected or deserves death. The necessary spiritual confrontation against all which, in ourselves and in others, proves to be anti-life, destructive, and harmful to the community or against God, is even more severe.
When filled with life and love, the human being is a fighter. He is never hard on his neighbor; but when the passion of love that burns him pushes him to struggle, like a volcano, against the evil he discovers in himself, in others and in society, there is a risk of interpreting this as hardness. His struggle is both a private affair which can only be carried out in the intimacy of his personal relationship with God, and a public affair which must express itself in the face of all questions of society by a determined opposition to all that, in human relations, is marked by evil.
Excerpt from: Salt and Light by Eberhard Arnold (1883 – 1935, German protestant theologist), 2017, Plough Publishing House pp. 51-52
Prepared by our brothers and sisters Dombes Abbey, France.
To be used as appropriate
1 / The Christians of the Orthodox Churches celebrated Easter last Sunday, some in a climate of great tension and distress.
Lord, may our Orthodox brothers and sisters everywhere – and particularly those in Ukraine, in Jerusalem, in Russia, and in Lebanon, allow themselves to experience your presence in their lives, and live the joy of the resurrection. With them, we pray to you.
2/ At Dombes Abbey, several brothers and sisters of the Chemin Neuf Community have members of different Christian denominations in their family: they come from the Lutheran Church in Latvia, the Baptist Church in Benin and in France, the Evangelical Church in Burundi, or the Reformed Church and the Assemblies of God in the Czech Republic and Hungary, the United Methodist Church in Côte d’Ivoire and the Greek Catholic Church in Hungary.
Lord, we entrust you with all the families whose members belong to different churches. In this Easter period, you tell us again: “Peace be with you!” May paths of peace, unity and reconciliation continue to open between us. With them, we pray to you.
3/ Last week, the 30-day retreat of the Spiritual Exercises following Saint Ignatius started in Switzerland with the Chemin Neuf Community there. Like every year, it brings together participants from many countries and several Christian denominations. Of these, 6 are completing a year of training with the Anglican Community of Saint Anselm at Lambeth Palace.
Lord, may this privileged time with you be an opportunity for everyone to continue to advance on the path of unity and fraternity between our Churches. With them, we pray to you.