Following Jesus

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Following Jesus

Finding Strength in the Midst of Our Own Weakness

January 9, 2019 by

On January 1, here at Fox Hill, our community met in the dining hall to welcome in the New Year. One of the dads said he would read a story entitled “2019” and he invited the children to come up to the front so they could see the pictures. But when he opened the book, the pages were blank.

We don’t know what lies ahead in the coming year. But I believe that God is writing his history, and we can be secure in the knowledge that our world and each of our lives are in his hands. That does not mean sitting back complacently; it means being alert and ready for whatever God calls us to. At a New Year’s Eve service in 1934, Eberhard Arnold spoke on this theme of watchfulness; here’s an excerpt that I found inspiring:


windblown fire with sparks
photograph by kallerna

Only an extremely wakeful church can withstand these dangerous times. There is not a moment left now for sleepiness, for getting weary and tired and concerned with oneself. Every moment must be utilized to keep the whole church awake, using the weapons of the kingdom to right and left. We must ask God for alert spirits, for the Holy Spirit; for we know that we are tired people with weary flesh; that we are not able to give ourselves the strength to confront all the dangers around us and to keep our wits about us.

The ministers must be reliable and alert, and prove their steadfastness in true strength, so that the church will be guided by the freshly blowing wind, the fresh breath of God, by the breath of the Holy Spirit. In times of danger, a lukewarm, sweet wind is not enough. A lively, cold storm has to come. We must ask for that, so lukewarmness has no place among us. Then this fresh, enlivening storm will fan the holy fire and make it blaze up high with love’s white‑glowing heat and with the radiating, flaming light that sends its sparks out into the entire world.

This can happen only when we arm ourselves for utmost danger with the wakefulness of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time of danger. Now we must be armed against extreme peril. Nothing must frighten us; we need to be strong now in the very midst of our own weakness.

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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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