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Detail of The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks

No Community Without Work

Eberhard Arnold

Available languages: Deutsch


All revolutions, all communes and idealistic or reform-oriented movements, force us to recognize again and again that one thing alone can quicken our faith in the Good: the clear example of action born of truth, when both action and word are one in God. We have only one weapon against the depravity that exists today – the weapon of the Spirit, which is constructive work carried out in the fellowship of love. We do not acknowledge sentimental love, love without work. Nor do we acknowledge dedication to practical work if it does not daily give proof of a heart-to-heart relationship between those who work together, a relationship that comes from the Spirit. The love of work, like the work of love, is a matter of the Spirit. The love that comes from the Spirit is work.

When working men and women voluntarily join hands to renounce everything that is self-willed, isolated, or private, their alliances become signposts to the ultimate unity of all people, which is found in God’s love and in the power of his coming kingdom. The will that works toward this kingdom of peace for all, like the ungrudging spirit of brotherliness in work, comes from God. Work as spirit and spirit as work – that is the fundamental nature of the future order of peace, which comes to us in Christ. Work alone makes it possible to live in community, for work means joy in striving for the common good and joy in the presence of those we strive with. Such joy is given to us only as far as we are able to sustain a consecrated relationship to the Eternal, even when performing the most mundane tasks – only as far as we remember that everything that is material and earthly is, at the same time, consecrated to God’s future.

We must live in community because God wants us to respond to the unclear longings of our time with a clear answer of faith.

Detail from The Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks
Contributed By Eberhard Arnold Eberhard Arnold

Eberhard Arnold was a theologian, educator, publisher, and community leader.

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