Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

August 13, 2004

Life Together: A Few Opening Remarks


Last week I began rereading an old favorite of mine: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. Well, in truth, I’ve simply read and reread the first chapter only, because I really wanted to be sure to get what Bonhoeffer is saying there. Somehow I knew that this book would strike a very powerful cord with me just now. You see, God has been teaching me all over again this summer that the Christian life is essentially relational. That is, it is walked out in relationship. It is walked out “with others.” And that Bonhoeffer’s phrase, “life together,” is truly a fundamental descriptor of life under the Lordship of Christ.

Now, I’ve been blogging an awful lot lately about “kingdom communication.” And communication is, we might say, the very currency of relationship. Where there is no communication, there is no relationship. So what we are talking about when we talk about life together according to God’s plan, is a quality of communication that is, as I’ve been saying, a real foretaste of the Kingdom of God.

So you see I’m not going off on a tangent here. Kingdom relationship IS kingdom communication IS “life together.” How you and I relate to one another, how we speak to one another, how we know one another and share ourselves with one another, that is the measure of our love for one another. And I want my life to be about doing that well. I want to live like Paul said the Thessalonians should live: increasing more and more in love.

So I’m going to let Dietrich Bonhoeffer be my guide for a while, and yours to, if you’re willing to come along. What I plan to do in the next post or two is summarize Bonhoeffer’s first chapter at some length, lifting many quotes from the book. Needless to say, I think this is very valuable stuff. I am honored by those of you who choose to come along with me. I pray that you too will be blessed by this book, as I have been.

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