Why is community the calling of the church? In this series, we’ll read through Why We Live in Community by Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935), founder of the Bruderhof communities, whose book Thomas Merton called “a final gospel statement of community against the background of false community … a completely Christian answer.”
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.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)