Friday, June 26, 2009

Community Life

Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10

Last year our congregation took on the challenge of memorizing several verses from Romans chapter twelve. It was not an easy task requiring commitment, concentration and courage, especially if one's "memory" brain cells are diminished! The goal was to memorize Romans 12:9-21 but perhaps the more important goal was to focus on becoming a congregation that reflected our memory verses. Verse ten was only the beginning of what prayerfully will become a way of life for us. It's not always easy being in "community" together.

In his book Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer reflected on the pitfalls that can plague a Christian community. The following was written over 60 years ago and yet is pertinent for today's Jesus followers who want to be in community together and yet find it difficult.

The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it be realized by God, by others and by himself. He enters the community of Christians with his demands, his own law, and judges the brethren and himself accordingly. He act as if he is the creator of community, as if it is his dream which holds the community together. When things do not go his way, he calls the effort a failure. When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash. So he becomes first an accuser of his brethren, then God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

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