Skip to main content

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the Life of Faith

I am preparing today for the sermon on Sunday. And, as we are exploring the meaning of time together we look this week at the teachings of our Lord - specifically his teaching about worry, money, shelter and food. It is these three things (money, shelter and food) that make us feel that we must maximize our time, to use it well, so that we can have security and provision. But, Jesus - conversely - invites us to remember that using our time wisely is not what leads to our security. This is a major thrust of his Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5 & 6).

Dietrich Bonhoeffer comments on Jesus' teachings and adds:

"Fellowship with Jesus and obedience to his commandment come first, and all else follows. Worldly cares are not a part of our discipleship, but distinct and subordinate concerns. Before we start taking thought for our life, our food and clothing, our work and families, we must seek the righteousness of Christ ... Again we have here either a crushing burden, which holds out no hope for the poor and wretched, or else it is the quintessence of the gospel, which brings the promise of freedom and perfect joy. Jesus does not tell us what we out to do but cannot; he tells us what God has given us and promises still to give. If Christ has been given us, if we are called to his discipleship we are given all things, literally all things. He will see to it that they are added unto us. If we follow Jesus and look only to his righteousness, we are in his hands and under the protection of him and his Father. And if we are in a communion with the Father, nought can harm us. We shall always be assured that he can feed his children and will not suffer them to hunger. God will help us in the hour of need, and he knows our needs."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Acts 3:11-21 - Questions for Reflection & Prayer

This week we continued looking at the story of Peter and John healing a lame man on their way to the Temple (Acts 3).  Indwelled with the Spirit of the Living God, Peter and John are close to the source of all life:  Jesus the Christ.  They are continuing to devote themselves to the habits and practices that will allow the fruits of the Spirit to grow within them, including devoting themselves to times of communal prayer on a daily basis.

Now, the crowds hear this news of the lame man's healing, and they run to see this man and to discover what power or technique has healed the man.  They discover the man standing next to Peter and John and assume that these two are "holy men," something many people were searching for in Jesus' day.  This same search still goes on today.  One way we seek a better life is to seek out celebrities, gurus and human leaders that we can put our faith and hope in.

Question for reflection:  How are we tempted in our culture to put our trust i…

Acts 2:42-47 - Questions for Reflection & Study

This past Sunday, we took a look at Luke's first summary passage in the story of Acts:  chapter 2, verses 42-47.  Here, Luke is presenting a billboard of what the Church looks like at its best.  He is trying to convince Theophilus that Christianity is worth his attention. 

The early Church captures what all of us are looking for, whether we know it or not.  This is a close community that truly cares for one another, where everyone truly is seen as a brother and sister, and where no one person is considered more or less important as the other.  Needs are being met.  There is joy in their fellowship. 

Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you experienced the joy and blessing of a deep, loving community?  Where was it, and what made this community so different?  What role did you play in this community?
Luke tells us the disciples "devoted themselves" to four essential practices.  The Greek word for "devoted" is one that is often used in the context…

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…