Daily Prayers for November 22

Eberhard and Emmy Arnold (1883 – 1935; 1884 – 1980)

During the Reformation, there were those who believed that Luther and Calvin did not go far enough in recovering the radical spirit of Christianity, namely in regard to the Christian attitude toward violence and personal property. These Radical Reformers stressed community, simplicity, and an uncompromising commitment to gospel nonviolence. They suffered persecution from Protestants and Catholics alike, and their spirit took root in such communities as the Hutterites and Mennonites, which continue to this day. Eberhard and Emmy Arnold drew on this tradition centuries later in the midst of Nazi Germany. They started a community called the Bruderhof (“house of brothers”), whose ethic was the Sermon on the Mount. Their presence was a prophetic critique of the nationalism and militarism of Nazi Germany and of the Christianity that was silent amid such evil. In November 1933, their community was taken over by the Gestapo and they fled. Eberhard died in 1935 and Emmy lived on for forty-five more years, helping to start many other communities. Their lives and writings have inspired many communities, and their witness has touched -people around the world.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us sing to the Lord : let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Freedom Train”

Just when I thought I was lost : my dungeon shook and the chains fell off.

Psalm 107:10 16

Some sat in darkness and deep gloom : bound fast in misery and iron;

because they rebelled against the words of God : and despised the counsel of the Most High.

So he humbled their spirits with hard labor : they stumbled, and there was none to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble : and he delivered them from their distress.

He led them out of darkness and deep gloom : and broke their bonds asunder.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy : and the wonders he does for his children.

For he shatters the doors of bronze : and breaks in two the iron bars.

Just when I thought I was lost : my dungeon shook and the chains fell off.

Zechariah 14:12 – 21 Revelation 20:7 – 15

Just when I thought I was lost : my dungeon shook and the chains fell off.

Eberhard Arnold said, “Life in community is no less than a necessity for us — ​it is an inescapable ‘must’ that determines everything we do and think. Yet it is not our good intentions or efforts that have been decisive in our choosing this way of life. Rather, we have been overwhelmed by a certainty — ​a certainty that has its origin and power in the Source of everything that exists. We acknowledge God as this Source. We must live in community because all life created by God exists in a communal order and works toward community.”

Albert Luthuli, who struggled nonviolently against apartheid in South Africa, said, “It is inevitable that in working for freedom some individuals and some families must take the lead and suffer: the road to freedom is via the cross.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, our journey with you shapes our journey with one another. Let your tender mercies come to us that we may live again. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

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