Thursday, April 27, 2006

Attendance is only 'First Base' for Church Life.

*** Bonhoeffer quote coming.

Attendance is only first base for Church life. Some of us still have to get to First Base. And first base is necessary. But we have so much further to go. There is so much more that a community in Christ is required to learn: much more wonder and toughness, joy and pain. I’m speaking on Ephesians 5 this Sunday. I am preparing as I type.

I have to post the quote below, because Bonhoeffer has always [and still] resonates with me.

  • Bonhoeffer proposes in Chapter 1 of Life Together, that every believer needs to be able to ‘go-it-alone’ with God [Jesus went to the cross despite the fact that his friends didn’t sign up. He never said: ‘I go if my friends go too’.]
  • At the same time he proposes that we need to ‘do-life-together’ [If God gives you one brother or sister to help you pick up your cross, he has then been gracious.] As it turns out, he has given us more than one. Much more.

Both of these have to be true simultaneously. [Never just alone and never just together].

Here is the quote:

"Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and give an account to God."

"Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called, the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone, even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ."

Love, Justin.

PS Anyone else think that Bonhoeffer looks like Christian Anderson's Dad?
And don't post any 'you still like Bonhoeffer' comment. You don't give up on old friends.


Justin said...

By the way, some people have said to me that they didn't know that there was links in the post.

Anything Bold and Yellow is a link.

Just click on it.

jodi mclaren said...

hey mate! i've always loved life together too. had to read it first for a college assignment - and then i realised how life transforming it can be when you approach christian community in the same way that bon. does. a high call and challenge though sometimes...
ps - how do you make those links? been trying to do that for ages!

dave traill said...

wow, j-man, that guy is wise.

it is an intensely personal and intensely communal thing, this relationship with Christ. we can't live it out in a cave on our own, it is simply far too hard that way (and we weren't called to live that way anyway).

nor can we just ride the wave of a large church - we need to wrestle with God ourselves.

love the different simultaneous meanings!

but anyone wearing glasses and a waistcoat/suit has to be wise, don't they?

any other bonhoeffer books you can recommend?

lunch said...

He looks just like Eddie Anderson.

michael jensen said...

Gotta love the B-man.

I wrote something on him over on my blog: something on responsibility...

sharon said...

great quotes - interesting that every client i have seen has struggles with both of these areas, difficulty making their own decisions and standing firm in their decisions, or, not being able to hold aloneness and community in tension and realise that both exist simultaneously. We all struggle with this at some point! Thank you for sharing it Justin. Have started re-reading Viktor Frankl's 'Man's search for Meaning' - worth a read if you have time - written in 1948?? but speaks directly to today.

Goldy said...

You HAVE to love DB.
I'm dreaming of a movie on his life some time in the next 10 years. He is too much of a champion not to get one.
At the same time, I would be dreading a movie on his life. Like Luther... it will all get lost in translation.
Anyway, you've inspired me. I have read biographies, but never got around to any of his big works. It's on the list!

Anonymous said...

OK, here's the cynic (how do you spell that?): i too love bonhoffer - but i think you can get wooed by his words, and think they are almost poetic. His call is to a radical discipleship -a deep communion with Jesus on teh road to calvary, and a deep honouring of your brother and sister (not your friend). It's a tough road he is calling us to. So yes, i am cynical when people (like myself) say I LOVE .... the proof is in the pudding you share with your neighbour :) rhea

Anonymous said...

He looks like Andrew Shead.

byron said...

He looks like Andrew Shead.
I have been saying this for as long as I can remember.

Jodi: try here.

Attendance is only first base for Church life.
Justin: You really are becoming American.

Jodi: just kidding above, try here.

Justin said...

Hey Bryon.

More American? Sure, its true. But how would you guess it from anything in this post? Or my whole Blog??


Just jokin' about becoming more American. Ive got lots more maturing to do before I could claim that.


PS You know that this post was 2 months ago. I doubt whether Jodi will look at it. I'll email her and send her here.