Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Future of the Church- Thought for Today

I'm using a book of daily readings of the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a part of my devotions.  Today's quote spoke to me as we consider the future of the church.  I find it easy to slip between pessimism and optimism.  Bonhoeffer reminds us that both are illusions.  There is the one reality for a believer; the reality of God.  Here is the quote for your pondering:

As the New Testament proclaims life to the dying, as life and death collide in the cross of Christ, and as life swallows up death—only when we see this do we believe in the church under the cross.  Only when we look at reality with clear eyes, without any illusion about our morality or our culture, can we believe.  Otherwise our faith becomes an illusion.  The believer can be neither a pessimist nor an optimist; both are an illusion.  Believers do not see reality in a certain light.  The instead see it as it is, and against everything and beyond everything they see, they believe in God alone and in his power. They do not believe in the world or in the capability of the world to develop and improve; they do not believe in their power to improve the world and in their goodwill.  They do not believe in people or in the good in people that ultimately must triumph; they do not believe in the church in its human power.  Rather, believers believe solely in God, who creates and does the impossible, who creates life out of death, who has called the dying church to life against and in spite of us and through us.  But God does it alone.
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer
What does it mean to reshape our view of reality to believe solely in God who does the impossible and calls a dying church to life?


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