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Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Life Together

From Colin Wood . .

This week we talked about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, in which he talks about what it means to live in Christian community and how to make that work.

He starts just by praising God for the gift of the church, that by God’s grace we are allowed to be together in fellowship and in community. We so often forget the fabulous gifts from God, and the Church is one of them. Of course the Church is not always perfect, as anyone who has been to one knows (maybe they run for about half an hour too long). But that is God’s gift to us: our opportunity to gather with others just to praise and worship our Lord.

So how do we make the community of the church (or any other) work? Bonhoeffer tells that we must be humble: we must give ourselves up before even thinking about dealing with others. He goes on to say that if you’re too worried about time and schedule, then you take your work too seriously. Wow. That’s hard for me. As college students, we’re all trying to get a million things done at a time: two papers due within 3 hours, going to Mountaineer basketball games, having a social life (what’s that again?), and everything else. In our minds, everything that’s going on for us is the most important event happening right now, anywhere in the world. So Bonheoffer tells us to give that all up, let God take care of it, and remember that everyone else is going through the same things. We are not unique in having problems, but God can and will help each and every one of us get past them.

So what does this all mean? I suppose I’m not sure (perhaps I should have adhered to one of Bonhoeffer’s other rules: hold thy tongue). But if we lift everything to God, letting go of ourselves before trying to face others in a community, or face the hectic activities of the day, we can trust that God will guide us through.

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