So the story goes that a pilot working in a remote area in Alaska forgot to clean out his Super Cub plane after a fishing trip. A bear smelt the fish and decided to make a serious mess of the plane.
Faced with the severity of the damage, apparently, the pilot ordered in a couple of new tires, three cases of Duct Tape and several rolls of cellophane. He figured that’d be enough for essential repairs to get him home. And it was.
Jesus is way better than duct tape.
It is incredible to visit places of Christian community around the world and right here. They are filled with the most ragtag bunch of people. Old and young. Rich and poor. Extraverted and introverted. Confident and crushed. Grieved and joyed.
And yet somehow they are together and there is love. And it isn’t because they all just share common hobbies or just kind of click.
No for these communities to be bonded together, something different is required, something far greater than culture’s duct tape of homogeneity.
These communities are held together in Christ. Bonhoeffer puts it this way:
“What determines our brotherhood is what that man is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
It’s like nothing else.
At Viva we say we opt-in to live in authentic relationships. The bible defines authentic relationships differently to culture. Authentic relationships are those that Bonhoeffer describes where we see each other as Christ sees each of us. Deeply loved and precious. An image bearer of God. Forgiven by God.
What is perhaps the greatest obstacle to us walking these kind of relationships?
Bonhoeffer suggest this:
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
It’s our demand for perfection. It’s our demand that this person, this community be just what I need it to be.
We grasp like that and we’ll crush it. Release it to be the thing God has breathed into and loves and I think we’ll be quietly amazed at how heaven has snuck onto earth.