Saturday, 21 May 2016

Fortunate disillusionment

This is what a real Football League ground looks like this week.  Grimsby Town is going back up after six years - but nobody locally has ever thought of Blundell Park as being a ‘Conference’ standard ground during that time anyway (however much supporters would like to develop a new venue).

So instead, rather begin with - this is what Blundell Park looks like when it allows a bereaved family to hold a charity match to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust yesterday.  It looks empty but there were lots of people there in the one open stand behind me.  A wonderful tribute to a lovely young man.

Meanwhile, to go somewhere quite different, a single quotation from Dietrich Bonhoeffer came up as the non-scriptural reading at Matins one day in the week and is feeding me still.  I find that I ought to have paid as much attention to Living Together as to the more famous The Cost of Discipleship and Letters and Papers from Prison.

The serious Christian
set down for the first time in a Christian community,
is likely to bring with him or her
a very definite idea of what Christian life should be
and try to realise it.

But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams.

Just as surely as God desires to lead us
to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship,
so surely must we be overwhelmed
by a great general disillusionment
with others,
with Christianity in general,
and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.

By sheer grace God will not permit us to live
even for a brief period
in a dream world.

He does not abandon us
to those rapturous experiences and lofty moods
that come over us like a dream.

God is not a God of the emotions
but the God of truth.

To be clear, perfectionism is actually a heresy and judgementalism is specifically condemned by the Lord - and, since I'm as prone to both as any other Christian, it is only this fortunate disillusionment with myself which stands a chance of setting me free to pray for those who can't cope with the compromised nature of our churches and of our ways of being Christian community.

Mind you, this is almost where this Blog started and where it has continued to be quite recently.

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