Reading Reflection – Chapter 3 of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together

During Lent, I’ve been re-reading a chapter a week of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together”.  This week’s reading has been the chapter on “Service” or “Ministry” and there are some very interesting passages.  I commend three to you.

“God did not make others as I would have made them.  God did not give them to me so that I could dominate and control them, but so that I might find the Creator by means of them.”

“The sins of the other are even harder to bear than is their freedom; for in sin, community with God and with each other is broken.  Here, because of the other, Christians suffer the breaking of the community with the other established in Jesus Christ.  But here, too, it is only in bearing with the other that the great grace of God becomes fully apparent.  Not despising sinners, but being privileged to bear with them, means not having to give them up for lost, being able to accept them and able to preserve community with them through forgiveness.”

“Because each individual’s sin burdens the whole community and inditcts it, the community of faith rejoices amid all the pain inflicted on it by the sin of the other and, in spite of the burden placed on it, rejoices in being deemed worthy of bearing with and forgiving sin.”


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