The best book I’ve readon Christian community, hands down, is Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was a theologian and pastor martyred for his resistance to the Third Reich. Listen to how Bonhoeffer treasures the precious gift of fellowship:
It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God’s Word and sacrament. Not all Christians receive this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands stand alone . . . It is true of course, that what is an unspeakable gift of God for the lonely individual is easily disregarded and trodden under foot by those who have the gift every day. It is easily forgotten that the fellowship of Christian brethren is a gift of grace, a gift of the Kingdom of God that any day may be taken from us . . . Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart. Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.
Christian community is a gift of grace. The call to Christ is a call to His people. As you evaluate your commitments for the fall, I want to invite you to step into the beauty, joy and privilege of Christian community in one of Christ Church’s small groups. Join with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship and play, grow and laugh, celebrate and learn. This Sunday we will highlight all the small groups, the central place of growth and community at Christ Church. Visit one next week, if you’re not already in one!
Gladly in fellowship with you,