Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
(Psalm 133 ESV)
“So between the death of Christ and the Last Day it is only by a gracious anticipation of the last things that Christians are privileged to live in visible fellowship with other Christians.” (Matt. 24:31, John 11:52, Zech. 10:8,9, Deut. 28:25) (18)
The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer. (19) II Tim. 1:4, I Thess. 3:10, II John 12)
It is grace, nothing but grace that we are allowed to live in community with other Christians. (20)
He needs his brother as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure… The community of Christians springs from the Biblical message of justification through grace alone – this is the basis of the longing of Christians for one another. (23)
The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his word become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity. That dismisses once and for all every clamorous desire for something more. One who wants more than wha tChrist has established does not want Christian Brotherhood. He is looking for some extraordinary social experience which he has not found elsewhere; he is bringing muddled and impure desires into Christian brotherhood. Just at this point Christian Brotherhood is threatened most often at the very start by the greatest danger of all, the danger of being poisoned at its root, the danger of confusing Christian Brotherhood with some wishful idea of religious fellowship, or confounding the natural desire of the devout heart for community with the spiritual reality of Christian Brotherhood. In Christian Brotherhood is not an ideal, but a divine reality. Second, that Christian Brotherhood is a spiritual and not a psychic reality.
Innumerable times a whole Christian Community has broken down because it sprung from a wish dream. (26)
Only that fellowship which faces such disillusionment, with all its unhappy and ugly aspects, begins to be what it should be in God’s sight, begins to grasp in faith the promise given to it. The sooner this shock of disillusionment comes to an individual and to a community the better for both.
He who loves his dream of a community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial. (27)
We thank God for what he has done for us. We thank God for giving us brethren who live by his call, by his forgiveness and his promise. We do not complain of what God does and does not give us; we rather thank God for what he does give us daily. (28)
Fixed. Thanks Diet
Be less entitled. Okay I will. 🙂 This post was for me and for you… Most of the Above was written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (and God: Psalm 133)