Bonhoeffer on Burden Bearing Fellowship

Sunday Afternoon Musings

Bonhoeffer Life TogetherI try to read Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, once a year, some years, twice. Sometimes obscure, sometimes on the fringe of orthodoxy, it is always thought provoking and powerful. Both practical and deep, I have found it to be helpful in corralling all my disappointments about wheat the church is and isn’t as well as inspiring about what it is. Over the last two decades, this quote is one that I find myself quoting most often in too many contexts to enumerate here. I have bolded two of the most striking thoughts in the passage for emphasis. Have a great afternoon.

“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, or our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as a Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.

Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we participate. . . . Because Christian community is founded solely on Jesus Christ, it is a spiritual and not a psychic reality.

Life Together, p. 30-31

For any that are interested, I have created both a Scripture and Name index to this book. If you would like the PDF file, send me an email and its yours.

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