Monday, June 25, 2007
mini me or pro me
Martin Luther wrote, “ So it is one thing if God is there, and another if he is there for you.” We can speak about God as being outside of our existence but another thing to speak of God as having a relationship with me. I get tired of hearing the word ‘relationship’ in the Church. We get told umpteen times that it is all about ‘relationship.’ The problem is that we know its importance but most of us are completely baffled as to how this relationship works out. I preached yesterday on the ‘sheer silence’ that followed the wind, earthquake and fire that confronted Elijah and how he had to come to terms with the silent Universe as a vehicle of God’s communique. A relationship with God is a different kind of relationship and in some parts the analogy of human relationships suffices but the relationship with God is often beyond our comprehension. Bonhoeffer uses the term ‘pro me’ to describe the Christ event, the God-man Jesus is never to be understood as separate from the church, the community, you and me. Listen to it, “God is only God pro me, Christ is only Christ pro me.” It sounds a little egocentric of us to say this, but he makes the point (I think!) that the Christ event, the death and risen Lord is a contemporary experience, thus not for a relationship with humanity before our time, but for us now.
If this gives you a headache on a Monday morning, then as one of my deeply spiritual members will say, “don’t pray, take an aspirin!”