We love the soil because God’s spirit spoke and created the earth, and because he called it out of its uncultivated natural state so that it might be cultivated by the communal work of human beings. We love physical work – the work of muscle and hand – and we love the craftsman’s art, in which the spirit guides the hand. In the way spirit and hand work together and through each other, we see the mystery of community. God – the creative Spirit – has formed nature, and he has entrusted the earth to us, his sons and daughters, as an inheritance but also as a task: our garden must become his garden, and our work must further his kingdom.- Eberhard Arnold
Poems and Rhymed Prayers
In 1920 Eberhard and Emmy Arnold abandoned the security of the Berlin suburbs for a new life in the village of Sannerz. Here they embarked on what Eberhard called an “adventure of faith” – a life of voluntary poverty and community. His poems from this time reflect the new beginning, expressing the joy and the struggles of the fledgling circle, yet still encompassing a wider vision, and the continued call of a life lived for God.
This is your treasure and your wealth. It will free you of all care. You will be close to nature. You will live with the flowers and the birds, and you will not worry about your clothes or food. You will be one with the birds that find their food, and in harmony with the flowers that are clothed more beautifully than any vain men or women.
In trembling reverence, man stands in wonder before the life-filled tree, by the living bubbling spring, under the life-giving radiant stars of day and night, in the midst of the fruitfulness of earth and its life. How great and mighty must God be, who brings forth and sustains all things! Into a powerfully shaken and moved heart comes the demand: the great Creator God must become undisputed ruler over all this powerful life.- Eberhard Arnold