Here are a few thought provoking words for the day from Stanley Hauerwas.
“At Pentecost God created a new language, but it was a language that is more than words. It is instead a community whose memory of its savior creates the miracle of being a people whose very differences contribute to their unity. We call this new creation church. It is constituted by word and sacrament, as the story we tell, the story we embody, must not only be told but enacted. In the telling we are challenged to be a people capable of hearing God’s good news such that we can be a witness to others.”
“The creation of such a people is indeed dangerous, as we know from Babel. For the very strength that comes from our unity has too often led the church to believe that it can build the tower of unity through our own efforts. Not content to wait, we try to make God’s unity a reality for all people through coercion rather than witness…. Such a history of unfaithfulness has led many to downplay the peculiar mission of the church to witness to the world the reconstitution of humankind through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.”
“To be a disciple of Jesus is not enough to know the basic ‘facts’ of life. It is not enough to know his story. Rather, to be a disciple of Jesus means that our lives must literally be taken up into the drama of God’s redemption of this creation. That is the work of the Spirit as we are made part of God’s new time through the life and work of this man, Jesus of Nazareth.”
Taken from The Hauerwas Reader (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 148-9. The article originally appeared in the festscrhift for Hans Frei that Garrett Green edited in 1987.