I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately. A lot. So much that it makes my brain hurt and then I get a headache and then I need chocolate. Or something like that.
A while back a sweet friend let me borrow a book on the topic of community. It was Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community. Sounded like something I could think more about. And since I hadn’t finished his biography before the library requested it back, I thought reading a bit of the actual writings of the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be the next best thing. And while I have yet to read through and digest it all (it takes a lot of thinking and chocolate to finish), I am blown away by this man of God who left such a mark on history.
Here’s a little nugget of what he has to say about Bible reading and personal application:
“Consecutive reading of Biblical books forces everyone who wants to hear to put himself, or to allow himself to be found, where God has acted once and for all for the salvation of men. We become a part of what once took place for our salvation. Forgetting and losing ourselves, we, too, pass through the Red Sea, through the desert, across the Jordan into the promised land. With Israel we fall into doubt and unbelief and through punishment and repentance experience again God’s help and faithfulness. All this is not mere reverie but holy, godly reality. We are torn out of our own existence and set down in the midst of the holy history of God on earth. There God dealt with us, and there He still deals with us, our needs and our sins, in judgment and grace. It is not that God is the spectator and sharer of our present life, howsoever important that is; but rather that we are the reverent listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the history of the Christ on earth. And only in so far as we are there, is God with us today also.”
Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I love how he makes the connection between how the Word of God becomes our story and how we are connected to the people we read about in scripture from long ago. Great thoughts!
And for a little different food for thought, our friend and pastor shared recently this YouTube video on community. Check it out.
Hmmm…So, what are your thoughts on community?