September 16, 2013

Lines (14)


Continuing notes from "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"
***almost done... hang in there!***

Chapter 15     Community  Psalm 133

pg 169  "For God never makes private, secret salvation deals with people.  His relationships with us are personal, true: intimate, yes: but private, no.  We are a family in Christ."
I find this idea to be interesting and thought provoking ... and for someone like me, slightly intimidating.

pg 170  Psalm 133 puts, what is said & shown throughout scripture and church history, into words of song - community is essential.  "Scripture knows nothing of the solitary Christian.  People of faith are always members of a community."
Again this is a tough one for me... perhaps it is just the area of the country where I live or my limited exposure to faith communities at large - but here, for me, community is hard to come by in the sense that my soul longs to find.

pg 173  "Living together in a way that evokes the glad song of Psalm 133 is one of the great and arduous tasks before Christ's people.  Nothing requires more attention and energy."
I would add that it is perhaps something that is sorely lacking in a lot of places for precisely this reason.

 pg 175 Quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~ "Not what a man is in himself as a Christian, his spirituality and piety, constitutes the basis of our community.  What determines our brotherhood is what that man is by reason of Christ.  Our community with on another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us."

pg 176  "Important in any community of faith is an ever-renewed sense of expectation in what God is doing with our brothers & sisters in the faith."
Ah, perhaps here is part of the key found... that we don't really expect to see God move in our own lives or in anyone else's life.  And we never spend enough time together - talking about God and what He is doing in our lives to know differently.
Shared experience builds community.  If we never share our lives in any real sense, genuine relationships and true community can't be built.  If we are all so fearful of being real with one another that we live in shallow pleasantries and false masks - how can we build 'family' ties that are strong enough to weather persecution or even a minor challenge?