Friends 2007: QRoH Notes [19]

It’s Monday and it’s my “sabbath” … and yet, it’s good keep the countdown updates …

“To a Pentecostal, it is hard to believe that there is anointing when God’s people performed a liturgy. But what I observed on Sunday was really a move of God and the anointing was certainly unexpected. There were those who experienced joy and release as they stood waiting for their turn to partake the sacraments. Many, if not most, were awed in the holy presence.”Surprised By Liturgy

When I first heard and read about the “Liturgy” post, my heart was warmed because this whole “conversation” we’re participating in is most surely not just about high flung (and very often perceived as erudite) discussions, it’s really at the center how does all this relate to the local church (and of course the wider church). And corporate worship is one good place to start. That’s why I left a comment entitled “This is good”

“I found it refreshing listening to how a church who’s self-identity is less liturgical is enriched by what may seem to many as a irrelevant practice. In recent years, more and more I feel the debate on forms or personal taste is misguided. This is where a broader appreciation of historical resources rather than pulling us back into some form of heartless traditionalism can actually FREE us towards whole-hearted-whole-life worship especially in the context of community.”

Of course, we still have some stuff which requires slower reading 🙂 But it’s been great to slowly compile and bring to one place the various input and wisdom of those who have spend much time working through these issues.

“If we can meet Christ in the church then we can sustain discipleship only within the community. Bonhoeffer goes so far as to say that no man can become a new man except by entering the church and becoming a member of the Body of Christ (CD 270). Bonhoeffer is particularly sensitive to the problem of the human ego. He had earlier defined sin as “the will which principally affirms itself as a value and not the other, and which acknowledges the other only in this perspective” (CS254f). So he characterized the new man, i.e., the church, as the fellowship and communion with the Lord wherein we are delivered from that individualism which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with the whole human race. Bonhoeffer certainly goes beyond the sanctification of an isolated believer. Sanctification is the church taking on the form of Christ.

“‘Formation’ consequently means in the first place Jesus’ taking form in His Church. So the Church is not a religious community of worshippers of Christ but is Christ Himself who has taken form among men” (E 83).”Christology and Sociality in Bonhoeffer

Later in response to the conclusion by Dr. Ng Kam Weng (one of our conversation partners) in his piece above, my less smarter mind wondered out loud … “our inability as a church to seriously deal with “why people are hostile to the church?” with self-critical robust ecclesiology as well as ministry praxis seems me creating serious barriers towards genuine seekers and fellow pilgrims on this side of heaven.”

There are more articles that might be of interest to those especially coming for the Friends 2007 Event. In no particular order …

Dominion Of Co-Creators
“God is the creator who exercises a just and nurturing dominion over the earth. What then is the role of humankind in relation to God? I propose that we think of humankind as co-creators. Creation is an unfinished story. As a work of art, it is an ongoing ‘project’ for God who has covenanted Godself to humankind. God continues to extend God’s invitation to humankind so that we can collaborate with God in the fulfillment of God’s dream for the universe”

Practicing Love
“This is the most difficult question of all. How to practise love in a society so full of hatred? I think this is one of the primary issues that strike deep into the heart of a Christian. This is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? The true mark of what differentiates us from others. How different would I be, if I too, like all other sheep in the country, continued to criticise and bark hollow at the government and people whom we dislike?

I would be no different, says the Bible. Without love, we strike at a gong and find we are equally hollow. Shallow waters that do not correctly reflect what God has chosen for us to be. “

and of course the more spiritual formation related meditations (which we will gradually add). This is important because the conversation is fed by at least two other angles apart from theology, there’s the important dimension of spirituality as well as ministry/mission, for now something more personal:

I’m A Sinner
“I do not like it when someone points out my mistakes. Its worse when my sins are exposed. My first reaction is to hide in shame and guilt. And yet, what is needed is to face myself. What have I done? Whom am I responsible to? Where do I go from here?”

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