Life Together and Community

Aldersgate’s mission team has been using Dietrich Bonheoffer’s Life Together as a “guide for worship and reflection” while in Guatemala.  I read this book last fall during my Spiritual Formation class and selected the chapter on community to focus on for a journal entry.  Here are my some of my thoughts on that chapter:

Dietrich Bonheoffer Relationships happen through Jesus Christ.  As a society we talk a lot about making connections and how important these connections are, especially in our professional life.  I know that this was the case for me.  The ironic thing is that unless you establish a relationship instead of a connection, specifically a relationship through Christ, it is easy to walk away.  When we create a relationship with another person with God as our foundation it is hard to break.  The Grace of the Holy Spirit and with a common purpose strengthens this bond.

Bonheoffer said, “Christianity means community through Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ.”  This is the basis of Christian community and without it you do not have a community.  It is through this that we make sacrifices for our neighbor, which we love our neighbor, and can even love our enemies or those that would do us harm.  When referring to enemies Bonheoffer states, “spiritual love does not desire but rather serves, it loves an enemy as a brother.”  To me this is a strong statement made by a man who was being held in a Nazi concentration camp because of his religious convictions and would ultimately be killed by the people keeping him prisoner.

Please continue to pray for our mission team as they work to strengthen the communities in the highlands of Guatemala and as they prepare to travel home.