Here is some unity among my various readings this weekend:
From The Words and Wisdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
Every human idealized image that is brought into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be broken up so that genuine community can survive. Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial ...
Those who dream of this idealized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others, and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands, set up their own law, and judge one another and even God accordingly ...
Because God already has laid the only foundation of our community, because God has united us in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that life together with other Christians, not as those who make demands, but as those who thankfully receive. We thank God for what God has done for us. We thank God for giving us other Christians who live by God's call, forgiveness, and promise. We do not complain about what God does not give us; rather we are thankful for what God does give us daily.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
From Gary Henry's Reaching Forward:
. . . We may as well face it, in all the most important ways, the world remains the same generation after generation. But that statement is not meant to be depressing or demeaning to the dignity of human beings. It is simply to say that we all live in the same world. There is a certain “context” common to all men and women, no matter when and where they have lived. We experience the same joys, we suffer the same sorrows, and we encounter the same challenges. When we back up and look at life from the broadest perspective, none of us can say that our lives are unique.
That insight should do two things for us. First, we should have a greater RESPECT for the experience of those who’ve gone before. And second, we should have a greater HUMILITY as to the importance and “newness” of our own contributions to the world. What we do may well be important, but it’s all been done before.
“Everything that has been is eternal: the sea will wash it up again” (Friedrich Nietzsche).
And from my daily reading in Philippians:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:1-11 ESV)
They'll Know We Are Christians
The Lion King 2 - We Are One