Bonhoeffer on Christian Community

dietrich_bonhoefferI wanted to pass on a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his book Life Together (actually in German it was Gemeinsames Leben —that’s for Mindi!)  You may have heard of him, but in brief he was a noted Christian pastor and author who was killed by the Nazi’s in 1945. (For more check out www.dbonhoeffer.org/who-was-db2.htm ). 

In the first few pages of this book, Bonhoeffer references that those followers of Jesus who live in isolation–“the imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands”*–crave community.  The old adage…absence makes the heart grow fonder…is really true about those who are alone or separated from Christian community.

I’ll never forget when I heard the testimony of a man from Somalia who heard the Gospel through radio broadcasts into his country and gave his life to Jesus.  From that time forward, he lived out his faith through his relationship with the radio.  He hadn’t met another follower of Jesus in person.  He continued to follow Jesus but it was VERY difficult.  About 5 years later when he discovered a person who also followed Jesus, he exploded!  Can you imagine that…5 years of no one to encourage you, to pray for you, to love you in Jesus??? 

Back to the comment that Bonhoeffer made in connection to this was:

“Therefore, let him who until now has had the privilege of living a common Christian life with other Christians praise God’s grace from the bottom of his heart.  Let him thank God on his knees and declare: It is grace, nothing but grace, that we are allowed to live in community with Christian brethren.”*

With that in mind, I am thankful to our God that I’ve been able to walk in community with so many followers of Jesus over the years..  I praise Him and am thankful for His Grace.  Would you stop and praise Him too?

* Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together  trans. John W. Doberstein, Harper & Row: San Fransisco, 1954, p. 18.  ** p. 20
Reposted from http://www.thequestcolumbus.com/resources/bonhoeffer.htm

Here’s where to get the book:

Life Together
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Kindle - Life Together
Kindle Edition – Life Together
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