Following Jesus

discipleship • the inner life • prayer
community of goods • faith • repentance

Following Jesus

A Modern-day Apostle’s Creed

January 27, 2017 by

As we face a new year under a new president, it seems that the future is more uncertain than ever. There is reason for anxiety everywhere you look. But one thing never changes; God remains the same – yesterday, today, and in the time to come. What we believe remains, and will never fail us.

In October 1934, at a similar time of global uncertainty, Eberhard Arnold spoke these words. If you’re feeling tentative today, with faltering footsteps, perhaps they will give you courage.

—Emmy Maendel

We believe that our prayer and worship depends on God’s speaking in us and our answering him. Before we are able to speak to God, he must speak to us, and he does so if only we listen with open hearts.

We believe that God, Jehovah, Yahweh, is who he is, the Unchangeable and Eternal, the Enduring. He remains true to himself; and even our unfaithfulness could never remove or change God’s faithfulness. For this reason God’s voice and revelation will announce in all of us the same unchangeable, eternal truth, the same truth in us all, so that one person will not receive one impression from God and another something different: all will see the same God in the same light and receive the same revelation in the same clarity.

A man sitting outdoors and thinking

We believe that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and in all eons, all eras of all eternities. We believe that Christ, as the everlasting Word of the Father’s revelation, created all things and revealed God’s heart in all creatures. He caused the light of love to flame up long before he was given to the world through Mary as Jesus.

We believe that this Jesus who was borne by Mary in a stable, who was laid in a feeding trough, was the same and will remain, with all his words and deeds, until his death and beyond his death, the same as he always has been and is today.

We believe that in the Holy Spirit, in the life-giving breath of God, this Jesus Christ speaks in us and shines out in us in incontestable accord with the words and life of Jesus; that he is the same in the Church as he was in Palestine when he wore the body he had accepted from Mary.

We believe that in the future this same Jesus will reveal the peace of God, the justice of his kingdom, and the joy of his love, in a new order of all things and of all worlds of creation, again as the same, the unchangeable Jesus.

We believe that the Holy Spirit who reveals him in the church here and now brings the same Jesus close to all opened hearts in the band of believers; that the same Holy Spirit says the same to us all, speaks of the same way of love, the same way of unity, the same will of God, the same order from God, that was revealed in Jesus and is now being put into practice in the life of the Church.

So let us concentrate our hearts in silent devotion so that this living Word may be spoken in us all, so that this radiant light may shine in, so that the same insight may be given to us in the fullest harmony and unanimity.

Emmy Maendel, an author with a particular interest in Bruderhof history, writes our monthly “From the Founder” blog posts, featuring timely selections from the writings of Eberhard Arnold. She lives at the Spring Valley Bruderhof.

Eberhard Arnold was a theologian, educator, publisher, and community leader who wrote, published, and spoke extensively in Europe in the early twentieth century, and founded the Bruderhof communities in 1920 with his wife Emmy and others. An authorized biography, Against the Wind, is available from Plough.


About the author

Emmy Maendel

Emmy Maendel

Emmy Maendel, an author with a particular interest in Bruderhof history, writes a regular blog post featuring timely...

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