Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fellowship and Solitude

This quote from a sermon by Mike Bullmore is worth meditating upon:
We need fellowship with others to be alone safely.
We need solitude to be with others meaningfully.
HT: @Tony Reinke

Update: In the comments below David reprints some Bonhoeffer quotes (Life Together) that fit with this very well:
Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. . . . But the reverse is also true: Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. . . . We recognize, then, that only as we are within the fellowship can we be alone, and only he that is alone can live in the fellowship. Only in fellowship do we learn to be rightly alone and only in aloneness do we learn to live rightly in fellowship. . . . Each by itself has profound pitfalls and perils. One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair. (p. 77-78)
Blessed is he who is alone in the strength of the fellowship and blessed is he who keeps the fellowship in the strength of aloneness. But the strength of aloneness and the strength of the fellowship is solely the strength of the Word of God, which is addressed to the individual in the fellowship. (p. 89)
Thanks, David!