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Sermon quotes on community

Augustine of Hippo

Community is the fruit of charity and is expressed in friendship which brings forth and nourishes loyalty, trust, sincerity and mutual understanding. … Friendship in Christ not only favors the development of each one’s personality, but it also increases freedom in the community itself, in which a healthy openness of mind fosters dialogue and enjoys a necessary autonomy with which to serve God better.

Confessions

Augustine of Hippo

Again, the friendship which draws human beings together in a tender bond is sweet to us because out of many minds it forges a unity.

Confessions

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The exclusion of the weak and insignificant, the seemingly useless people, from a Christian community may actually mean the exclusion of Christ; in the poor brother Christ is knocking at the door.

Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship (New York: Harper & Row, 1954),

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Within the spiritual community there is never, nor in any way, any immediate relationship of one to another, whereas human community expresses a profound, elemental, human desire for community, for immediate contact with other human souls, just as in the flesh there is the urge for physical merger with other flesh.

Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship (New York: Harper & Row, 1954)

Gwendolyn Brooks

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.

Emily Dickinson

The soul selects her own society,

Then shuts the door;

On her divine majority,

Obtrude no more.

“The Soul Selects Her Own Society,” in A Pocket Book of Modern Verse, edited by Oscar Williams, Washington Square Press.

Minucius Felix

Our bond, which you resent, consists in mutual love, for we know not how to hate; we call ourselves ‘brethren’ to which you object, as members of one family in God, as partners in one faith, as joint heirs in hope. You do not acknowledge one another, amid outbursts of mutual hate; you recognize no tie of brotherhood, except indeed for fratricidal murder.

Octavius

David D. Flowers

Community is when you learn I’m not everything you thought I was, and I learn you’re not everything I thought you were.

Stanley Hauerwas

Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God.

The Gesture of a Truthful Story” in Critical Reflections on Stanley Hauerwas’ Theology of Disability.

Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

When we are in meaningful relationships with one another, we each bring
a unique perspective and experience to our knowledge of Christ’s love. One person has been rescued from a menacing addition. Another has been brought through deep suffering. Still another has been sustained by God’s grace in a difficult marriage. The list goes on. When we gather to share our stories, we see a different aspect of the diamond that is the love of Christ.

How People Change, New Growth Press.

C.S. Lewis

The Christian life depends the single personality from the collective, not by isolating him but by giving him the status of an organ in the mystical body.

Originally read to the Society of St. Alban & St. St. Sergious, Oxford. Published in that society’s periodical, Sobornost, No. 31, June, 1945.

C.S. Lewis

He works on us in all sorts of ways. But above all, he works on us through each other. Men are mirrors, or “carriers” of Christ to other men. Usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others. That is why the church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another, is so important. It is so easy to think that the church has a lot of different objects – education, buildings, missions, holding services…the Church exists for no other purpose but to draw men to Christ. to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.

Mere Christianity

Jen Pollock Michel

We’re using our freedoms to break the bonds of community, which have long held us together.

Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith, InterVarsity Press.

Henri Nouwen

The vision that Jesus gives us is this: That I am unconditionally loved, that I belong to God, and that I am a person who can really trust that. When I meet another person who also is rooted in the heart of God, then the spirit of God in me can recognize the spirit of God in the other person, and then wew can start building a new space, a new home, a house, a community. Whether we speak about friendship, community, family, marriage, in the spiritual world we are talking about spirit recognizing Spirit, solitude embracing Solitude, heart speaking to Heart. And where this happens, there is an immense space.

Lecture at Scarritt-Bennett Center.

M. Scott Peck

Simply Seek happiness, and you are not likely to find it. Seek to create and love without regard to your happiness, and you will likely be happy much of the time. Seeking joy in and of itself will not bring it to you. Do the work of creating community, and you will obtain it-although never exactly according to your schedule. Joy is an uncapturable yet utterly predictable side-effect of genuine community.

The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace.

Erin M. Straza

Most people I know who establish new patterns of healthy living do so in community.

Comfort Detox: Finding Freedom From Habits That Bind You, InterVarsity Press.

Miroslav Volf

Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans and myself from the community of sinners.

Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, Abingdon Press.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter, even though his personal intentions may be ever so honest and earnest and sacrificial.

Life Together: A Discussion of Christian Fellowship (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), p. 27.

Thomas Merton

We learn to live by living together with others, and by living like them—a process which has disadvantages as well as blessings.

No Man Is an Island, Mariner Books.

Richard Plass and James Cofield

God has always had a people, a community through which God draws the world to himself. If we want to understand the character and purpose of God we must look to the community of God’s people. Embedded in the story of God’s people is the story of God creating, saving, preserving, guiding and reclaiming. God fulfills his divine purpose in and through very real people. The church of Christ is the actual expression of his presence in the world.

Taken from The Relational Soul: Moving from False Self to Deep Connection by Richard Plass and James Cofield, Copyright (c) 2014, p.117 by Richard Plass and James Cofield. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

Henri Nouwen

Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.

“Moving from Solitude to Community to Ministry” in Leadership Journal, Spring 1995, 83.

Jonathan Edwards

A man of a right spirit is not a man of narrow and private views, but is greatly interested and concerned for the good of the community, to which he belongs, and particularly of the city or village in which he resides, and for the true welfare of the society of which he is a member.

Sherry Turkle

Digital connections . . . may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other.

Alone Together

Greek Proverb

Mia koinonía megalónei ótan oi ilikioménoi fytévoun déntra ton opoíon i skiá gnorízoun óti den tha kathísoun poté.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

Daniel Kemmis

There have been times, not least the time of the birth of Athenian democracy, when most of the people who thought and wrote about human wholeness concluded that no one could be a whole human being, nor achieve the satisfactions of such wholeness, without participating fully in citizenship.

The Good City and the Good Life

Greek Proverb

Mia koinonía megalónei ótan oi ilikioménoi fytévoun déntra ton opoíon i skiá gnorízoun óti den tha kathísoun poté.

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.

Daniel Kemmis

There have been times, not least the time of the birth of Athenian democracy, when most of the people who thought and wrote about human wholeness concluded that no one could be a whole human being, nor achieve the satisfactions of such wholeness, without participating fully in citizenship.

The Good City and the Good Life

Paul Bradshaw

[Writing about the significance of Communion for the early church] This meal was a sign of their reconciliation to God and their membership among the elect who would one day feast together in God’s kingdom, and the intimate fellowship with one another that they experienced around the table was a foretaste, an anticipation, of the union that they would enjoy forever with God. The whole meal was thus both a prophetic symbol of the future and also a means of entering into that future in the present.

Paul Bradshaw, Early Christian Worship (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1996), 40.

Matthew Levering

The Eucharist, as a communion of love in and through Christ’s sacrifice, involves learning cruciformity as members of Christ’s sacrificial Body. As such, the Eucharist fulfills Israel’s mode of sacrificial worship, in which sacrifice and communion are inextricably integrated.

Sacrifice and Community: Jewish Offering and Christian Eucharist (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 27–28.

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