Here are the longer quotes from today’s sermon (Sunday, April 7, 2019):
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from Life Together:
Certainly, serious Christians who are put in a community for the first time will often bring with them a very definite image of what Christian communal life should be, and they will be anxious to realize it. But God’s grace quickly frustrates all such dreams… By sheer grace, God will not permit us to live in a dream world…
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…
Christian community is not an ideal we have to realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.
Ruth Haley Barton, from The Transforming Center blog:
We want God as long as we can still have our successes. We like the idea of being on a journey of faith as long as it doesn’t require too much…well, faith. We long for the Promised Land as long as we don’t have to leave anything behind. We want space for God as long as it doesn’t intrude too radically on our packed schedules and conflicting priorities. We want self-knowledge as long as it doesn’t cut too close to the ego bone. We want God’s will as long as it doesn’t make us look too foolish. We want love as long as it’s not too inconvenient. We’d like to buy the pearl of great price as long as we don’t have to sell everything we have. We’re willing to wax eloquent about the Paschal Mystery one weekend a year as long as we’re not the one doing the dying!