“Christian community is not an ideal which we must realize, it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.”~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I read that quote somewhere recently, and it got me thinking. Christian community will never be ideal… no community is. Church will never be ideal. No church will ever be– because it’s made up of imperfect people, like you and me.
Community isn’t an ideal– it is a “reality” that we step into. I like how he puts that. It’s “reality”.
And the reality we step into is our messes… the messes of our lives. We step knee-deep in the real stuff, make our way through– but we do it together. The reality is that we’ve all got the messes, and the beauty of true community is that we walk with one another through it all.
I love the thought of that, don’t you?
Some folks make “community” the goal. That is not the goal. Our goal is to glorify Christ.
We can do that through and in our community… but the goal is not only and merely community. We grow in community, we serve in community, we live in community– but our end-goal is to glorify the One who made it possible for us to live in community.
We know that we’re lonely without community. The need for fellowship is woven into our human fabric, whether or not it is acknowledged or realized. We can go from one extreme or to the other– not acknowledging the need and importance for community, to making it the end goal of our Christian lives. Neither extreme is meant to be.
It gets hard in our busy lives to make sure we’re doing this– being intentional about true and authentic relationships. But– we get to participate in this. What a privilege, a joy. a gift!
It makes it easier to go through reality when we know we’re not alone. doesn’t it?
Counting to 1000:
936. One son attended an all-day retreat Saturday, with hiking, football, and devotions. The other son attended a “Heavenly Party” at church, learning about the joys of the heavenly kingdom. We had fun coming up with a Biblical character costume– he chose John the Baptist. He wore a long tunic with an animal skin belt (one of my scarfs with an animal print), sandals, and I sewed feathers in random spots on the tunic. Wish I had thought to take pictures!
937. The play is over and we enjoyed nice time of fellowship at a cast party, complete with chili, and games for the kids.
938. Bible study… going through the book of John.
939. Meeting and talking with a missionary last week.
940. My youngest reading through the Little House on the Prairie series of books. I started reading them aloud and now he’s taken to reading them on his own.
941. Sleeping in on Friday morning… a nice treat!
942. Sweet potato cornbread, black bean and corn salad… new recipes that turned out well.
943. Quiet days in which we don’t have to run to classes or other events. Like today. 🙂
Sharing in these lovely places on the web: Laura for Playdates with God, Jen for Soli Deo Gloria, L.L. for On, In and Around Mondays, and Ann for Multitudes on Mondays
Our Pastor asked us to remember the seven members who are now at Country Crest Care Home. Life does end at some place, and a lovely care home is for some the best place to exit when their husband had gone on before.. I am thankful that I can still walk, talk and remember and my husband also. Praise God for his blessings daily.
Great points! Community is reality, yet it works best when we seek to glorify God through it. Love that thought!
“Some folks make “community” the goal. That is not the goal. Our goal is to glorify Christ.”
Excellent observation. I’ve probably been guilty of getting those mixed up myself at times. It’s so easy to become so intricately involved with our little fellowship that we take our eyes off the Reason for our fellowship in the first place. Thanks for sharing this. Love that Bonhoeffer quote too.
Such good thoughts. I wonder if that quote is from Life Together? I’ve been working on reading through that little book on community and it has some real gems in it. And now I’m thinking about community 🙂