THE NON-INSULATED LIFE
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Let him who cannot be alone beware of community... Let him who is not in community beware of being alone... Each by itself has profound perils and pitfalls. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and the one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation and despair.” Christian community is good, but like anything that is virtuous it cannot be drummed up just because we decide to do it.
Most Christians recognise and value the importance of life together. Not everyone appreciates how this oneness in togetherness is achieved. Legalism will not produce it, and neither will a social program in itself. I knew a person who received ‘a word’ that the group needed to develop community. So they lumped themselves together with some others. Nothing much came from it which is not surprising since real Godliness and humanity is not produced by pragmatism or strategy. It is, however produced by Christ in us and the joining of ourselves with Godly Others.
Anything that is not Christ insulates us from Christ and from ourselves. This is why Christ our life makes us truly alive in community and why legalistic manoeuvres do not. Genuine individuality and community comes from God – from the trinitarian nature of God.
“The Doctrine of the Trinity provides a theological model for a view of human beings as “persons-in-relationship.” God eternally exists in “relationship,” or “fellowship,” as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we are created “in the image of the God,” we are truly and fully human as we live and move and exist in relationships, including marriage, family, community, clan, tribe, and Church.” (1)
‘The One Spirit’ is the Spirit of God, namely the trinitarian spirit when the individual is in the community of God. Such oneness is hampered when we live in partial gospels that are based on things extrinsic to the incarnation. Christ in us means the trinity is in us, which means the oneness and community that is God is embodied in our thoughts and fellowship.
(1) Davis, Martin M.. The Christian Doctrine of God. AsiAfrica Ministries, Inc.. Kindle Edition.