Thursday, August 19, 2004

...but can we survive the church?

Flannery O'Connor wrote, "I think that the Church is the only thing that is going to make the terrible world we are coming to endurable; the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the body of Christ and that on this we are fed. It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it". (from 'Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South" by Ralph C. Wood, 2004)

Flannery is teaching me about the majesty of the incarnation...
To cherish and love the world while enduring the suffering that comes with the 'not yet' of the Kingdom, these are the twin heart beats of the Shalom way of Jesus.


Mike said...

And yet it is interesting that Jesus never declared a "Church" as a necessity. He said follow me. Paul created the "church". Not against your views I am just provoking thought.

geoff said...

thanks, mike.
i would interpret o'connor's "Church" as 'the people of god called and sent out'...perhaps that's not what she meant (i have a limited understanding of her ecclesiology). jesus certainly called people and sent them out according to a certain ethic (community, peace, love, justice, humility, etc.) and this is what i imagine the church to be as paul describes/encourages/promotes it in his writings.
thanks for your comments....keep 'em coming.