Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bonhoeffer

I've been watching a documentary on Bonhoeffer.  I don't know how to tell you how much I'm feeling this quote tonight:
"I think I'm right in saying that I would only achieve true inner clarity and sincerity by really starting to take the Sermon on the Mount seriously. This is the only source of strength that can blow all this nonsense sky-high."

"The restoration of the church will surely come from a new kind of monasticism, which will have nothing in common with the old but a life of uncompromising adherence to the Sermon on the Mount in imitation of Christ. I believe the time has come to rally people together for this."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Save Us from False Ambition

God, I am just too busy.  Too many people, too many questions, too much to do.  We confess we stay busy because we fear acknowledging our emptiness.  How amid this busyness do we rest? How do we worship you? Please create space, which may be other people, to make time, our time, serve you.  Force us to rest through the activity of prayer so that all our loves and fears might be made perfect in you. Help us see how such busy service, if it is service, may be just the rest we need - just the worship we need. Finally, and most importantly, save us from false ambition.  Amen.
While Christlikeness is the essence of holiness, I must realize that I am not Jesus.  I am not the Savior of the world.  While I hope to be present to suffering people (even the presence of Christ himself), their hand up is not solely dependent on me.  God is bigger than that.  I know the Healer, the Weeper, the Savior, but I am not the answer in and of myself.  If I were to die today, the Kingdom of God would go on.  The presence of Christ is not solely dependent on me. It's in the situations that I realize I cannot do anything that I have realized my (our) need for God.  And truly, I must realize this in every situation, for I can do nothing on my own.  I can do from my own will, but I will do nothing without God's.

I know these may seem like obvious distinctions to many, but I need the reminder.

As a pastor, Acts 6:2 is chewing me up and spitting me out.

(Prayer from Stanley Hauerwas, Prayers Plainly Spoken)