God is hitting me upside the head with Bonhoeffer. It is neccessarily the slowest pace I think I've ever taken with a book. Reading a section of a chapter (4 or 5 pages) then rereading it and highlighting, meditating, reflecting.
Love how he defines a Christian..."The Christian is the one who no longer seeks his salvation, his deliverance, his justification in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone"
The one that crushed me today is this:
"When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we, too, were made ready to forgive our brethren. What God did to us, we then owed to others. The more we received, the more we were able to give' and the more meager our brotherly love, the less were we living by God's mercy and love."
The first part is pretty well known. We are blessed to be a blessing. Freely we've received now freely to give...but the second half of this (the converse of the first) leaves me wrecked. The weaker or more pitiful our authentic connection with others in the faith, the less God's mercy and love are flowing through us.
Isolation from others doesn't just hurt our communion with the saints, it hurts our communion with God.
If you aren't seeking to know and be known by others, you will not know or be known by God.
Can I make a plug for why 1) Church is vitally important and 2) Small Group connection to other Christians is vitally important!
So, what prevents us from entering into this type of community?