Boy oh Boy... Stephanie gave me access to edit the blog and I finally set it up... look out, inter webs! So here we are, week two of our study of, "Life Together." Chapter 2 is called, The Day with Others, and it gives a beautiful outline for rhythms of life that we can experience as a community. I think what I will do is share a couple of reflections I have about community life first, and then pose some questions for you.
First, we keep going to these Jewish historical sites, and I am reminded of something wise Tony once told me. When preparing for a study on Habakkuk, I asked him about the numerous laments of the prophets, and he had this to say. For the Jews, it's about the successes, failures, hurt, and healing of the people as a whole. When you speak to the Jew of the Old Testament, he or she hears you addressing all generations from Abraham to the current generation. When you speak to the 2018 Christian, he or she thinks only of themselves. I think of this because, at Masada, we learned that the Jews preferred to slaughter one another, rather than have themselves humiliated in slavery... Again! Today, many of the group went to Yad Vashem, which means memorial and name. This is the state of Israel's memorial to the victims of the holocaust and other anti-semitic events. I thought about the vast Hall of Names, where they emphasized the act of naming each victim who is known so far. I can't help but admire the way that the Jews value their community, and long for a community bond that looks out for each other in that way. Finally, we have talked a lot on this pilgrimage about group interpretation. In the 1st century synagogue, the rabbi would read the text and then sit down as everyone else talked about what it meant to them. Wow Christians.... what would that look like?
On to some questions and discipline/practice tips for your study.
1. Bonhoeffer believes that the only necessary things to tie a community together are Christ and the Word of God. What is the danger of adding MORE requirements for participating in a community? On the other hand, the United Methodist Church has a list of requirements for official church membership. They must have done this for some reason, right? Why?
2. If the Word is what unites the Christian community, then corporate study is critical. How do you engage God's word in a group setting regularly?
3. Bonhoeffer suggests the importance of rhythm over the next two chapters; I think commonality in practice is a critical way to help one another work through scripture/the world/stress. How would you like to adopt more common rhythms?
Note: I would direct you to Katie Kirk and the Book of Common Prayer for a daily liturgy startup.
4. Find a buddy to read psalms together. Bonhoeffer talks about how these present the heart of Jesus, who would be the only one who could understand the push and pull of God and man throughout the psalms. Consider taking turns reading the contrasting half verses, so that you can see how they interplay with one another. (Tip: Don't let the same person read the God parts all the time.)
5. Why do we worship together?
So I have confirmed that we have comment capability here... I would greatly appreciate if we had some conversation out of this. Let me know what you guys think down below. Feel free to drop your own questions, answer mine with tips for one another, or wreck my commentary. Until next week, stay woke!