Dear Friends of the Camphill Movement:
With the bible readings for the 20-21 year, the Bible Readings Group from the North American Region completed a third year of preparing readings for the Camphill Movement. It has been the case in the past that the preparation of the readings has changed from region to region on a three-year basis. So, the preparation of the readings for the 21-22 should be in the hands of a new group in another region of the Camphill Movement. However, a new group has not taken over the task of preparing the readings for the 21-22 year. In this situation, the members of the Bible Readings Group proposed to the Preparers Group of the North American Region that we continue into a fourth year and prepare the readings for the up-coming 21-22 year.
This suggestion was considered and it was brought to a regional community members’ meeting on May 20. In that meeting it was confirmed that the Bible Readings Group would prepare the readings for 21-22, with the question left open whether to continue for a fifth (22-23), sixth (23-24) and possibly seventh (24-25) year. This meeting had a special mood because the Bible Evening, which had been given over to the Camphill Movement, came back for a moment into the lap of the inner community for protection and guidance.
The Bible Readings Group from North America suggested a new theme for the readings of the coming year (21-22). The theme is in the form of a question that arises out of the COVID year and the current year’s theme of healing: What happens now? What is next? With this question the idea arises that the coming year’s readings should focus on what happens to the Disciples and their fellow Christian followers after the Resurrection, during the 50 days, and after the events of Ascension and Whitsun. This theme can speak to us about the process of inwardly moving from discipleship to apostleship.
This theme is about the establishment of community life in the light and warmth of the Risen One and the Second Coming. The readings for the coming year focus on the Acts of the Apostles, the life of Paul and his letters, as well as passages from the four Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) that point to the future and community building. Moreover, we can consider that this theme could encompass the next three years of readings, exploring letters of the other apostles and Revelations.
Also, the readings for this year begin with the readings for the first four Bible Evenings to honor the beginning of the Bible Evening. The first Bible Evening was held on August 30, 1941, a year after Karl Konig’s spiritual experience with Ludwig Zinzendorf that inspired the Bible Evening, and then there were then three more Bible Evenings in October of 1941.
We can be aware that for the coming four years years we are in a momentous time. These four years include the celebration of the one hundredth anniversaries of three important events: The burning of the Goetheanum (December 31, 1922); the Christmas Foundation Meeting (December 24, 1923 – January 01, 1924); and the death of Rudolf Steiner (March 30, 1925). The proposed theme would inaugurate our celebrating of these anniversaries. In this light, it would be important to be spiritually active and conscious in preparing the next three years of Bible Readings. We know from the History of the Bible Evening by Karl Koenig, that the Bible Evening has a close relation with the Christmas Foundation Meeting and the Second Coming.
In the light of the Second Coming, the appearance of Christ in the etheric world, we can look at the verses that currently open and close the Bible Evening and consider ways in which we can awaken more deeply the experience of the Second Coming in the Bible Evening space:
Our life gives thanks
To you, oh higher life,
That our body
May be nourished
Through your body.
May the deed become strength.
May the light become wisdom.
May the word become goodness,
When faithfully we serve the spirit.
After consulting with Richard Steel at the Karl Konig Institute, he confirmed that in the Karl Konig Archive there are no records of where these verses come from. After consulting with Christof-Andreas Lindenberg, we were told by him that the opening verse comes from Karl Konig and the closing verse from Anke Weihs.
Last year we shared the leading thought from Karl Konig to the community where the awareness of the Second Coming of Christ is presented as an essential striving of individual living in a Camphill Community:
It is one of the main tasks of the Community to make truly alive the life of Christ on earth in each of its members and in those with whom they live and work, so that each day of work and celebration seems to be accompanied by Him.
It should come so far that the landscape of Palestine, of Galilee and Judea, become for each of us a homeland. Not that we should develop a longing for it, but that it is so inscribed and “painted in” to us that it becomes like the land of our youth. It should come so far that the days of the life of Christ on earth, His words and ways, become like a garment of our souls and that through this, our wandering will be guided by His wandering.
Only then will the places of the Community become places where the Second Coming of Christ can happen … for the events of the Holy Land and of the Mystery of Golgotha are not past events, but presents ones. To tear the curtain away from the ether world and to live in the reality of these events ever and again is what is necessary. *
Christof-Andreas and Norma Lindenberg have created an alternative closing verse for the Bible Evening that addresses the Second Coming directly. They wish to share it with all those who may have interest.
May our sight be raised
At moments to His light,
May our speech be healed
At waking to His word,
May our heart be open
At intervals transparent to His presence,
When in community we celebrate.
Let us celebrate our community life in the Bible Evening by moving from the mood of discipleship to apostleship in order to continue to serve in our communities the needs of the world in the Twenty First Century with forces of renewal.
For festival days that appear on the list of readings with no reading assigned, because they are not Sundays or special festival days that need a reading, please feel free to choose a reading. Lastly, all dates that are not Sundays and do not share a reading with a Sunday are italicized.
From the executive group that prepared the readings: Taskeshi Suesada, Stephen Steen Ben Davis, Onat Sanchez-Schwartz and David Schwartz
Other members of this year’s Bible Reading Group: Tim Paholak, Karen Arthur, Gabrielle (Gaby) Beratan, Felicity Jeans, David Leighten, David Adams, Rudiger Janisch, Deborah Wright, Guy Alma and Penelope Baring.
* May 29, 1949, see The Camphill Community — A Chronicle, 2016, page 66. For more about the Second Coming, see The Appearance of Christ in the Etheric: Spiritual Scientifc Aspects of the Second Coming, Sergei O. Prokofieff, Temple Lodge, 2012.