“A great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves, is bound to overwhelm us as surely as God desires to lead us to an understanding of genuine Christian community. By sheer grace God will not permit us to live in a dream world even for a few weeks and to abandon ourselves to those blissful experiences and exalted moods that sweep over us like a wave of rapture. …Only that community which enters into the experience of this great disillusionment with all its unpleasant and evil appearances begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise that is given to it. The sooner this moment of disillusionment comes over the individual and the community, the better for both. …Every human idealized image that is brought into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be broken up so that genuine community can survive. Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.” Henri Nouwen
“But we have this treasure in clay pots so [it is clear] that the awesome power … doesn’t come from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Has your church entered into “the experience of great disillusionment with all its unpleasant and evil appearances?” How do you feel about that?
- Is God at work to break you and others of your illusions about the church (i.e., to dis-illusion you)? Why would he do that?
- Do you have idealized expectations for your church that make you a danger to “genuine community” even though you’re “honest and earnest” in your support of it?
- What is “the promise given” that God wants you to “grasp” when it comes to the Christian community?
For More: Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”