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Father, we come with heavy hearts for the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedoms we enjoy here in America. In many ways, we live because of their deaths. We come with heavy hearts for the families of the fallen. What pain. What sadness. How we break for the great loss they feel. Be with them.

Father, as this day directly focuses us on the brokenness of this world, we thank you there is a remedy. We thank you for Jesus’ sacrifice who secures the heavenly freedoms, eternal life, for those who trust him alone for their salvation. We ultimately live because of his death. God, be active in our military community today. Save. Mend. Heal. And love.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

For the entire post by Justin Taylor…

Why did Dietrich Bonhoeffer spent a year in Barcelona in 1928? It was partly because he desired to take his theological training and make it practical for the people in the pew:

One reason Bonhoeffer wished to spend a year as a pastor in Barcelona was that he believed communicating  what he knew theologically–whether to indifferent businessmen, teenagers, or younger children–was important as the theology itself. His success in children’s ministry shows this…

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 85)

I have been reading Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I read the books by or about Dietrich Bonhoeffer fairly slow because I am also blogging about them as well. I came across this statement of Metaxas…

Nearly all that Bonhoeffer would say and write later in life marked a deepening and expansion of what he had earlier said and believed, but never any kind of kind of significant change (84).

I agree with Metaxas. It seemed that Bonhoeffer changed his point of view as the circumstances around changed. I believe that even as a young man, he was fairly developed in his perspective.

Even Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in his early 20’s, he knew that pride and hubris could cripple a person’s Christianity and ministry. He wrote:

Thus, the Christian message is basically amoral and irreligious, paradoxical as that may sound. 

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 83)

A quote of Dietrich Bonhoeffer made The Christian Quotation of the Day (May 25, 2011)

After all, we are told, our salvation has already been accomplished by the grace of God… It was unkind to speak to men like this, for such a cheap offer could only leave them bewildered and tempt them from the way to which they had been called by Christ. Having laid hold on cheap grace, they were barred forever from the knowledge of costly grace.

Deceived and weakened, men felt that they were strong now that they were in possession of this cheap grace—whereas they had in fact lost the power to live the life of discipleship and obedience. The word of cheap grace has been the ruin of more Christians than any commandment of works…. 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), The Cost of Discipleship, London: SCM Press, 1964, p. 14-15.

Bonhoeffer wrote in The Cost of Discipleship

We forget that discipleship means estrangement from the world, and we forget the real joy and freedom which are the outcome of a devout rule of life (170)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in Barcelona in 1928. There he assisted Pastor Friedrich Olbricht in Barcelona in a German speaking community. Bonhoeffer was concerned that the children were neglected.

In letters home, Bonhoeffer mentioned that Olbricht…”has apparently hitherto done nothing in the way of addressing the younger generation in his parish.” 

Apparently, instruction in the church stopped at the fifth grade. Bonhoeffer wanted to remedy this problem by proposing classes in the church for the older children. Every proposal was turned down by Olbricht.

The example of Bonhoeffer is very, very contemporary and relevant for the twenty-first century church. The church should be a place where all generations are to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus!

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 77-78)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer assisted Pastor Friedrich Olbricht in Barcelona in 1928 in a German community. Bonhoeffer had many opportunities as a young man to grow in the area of preaching. Despite his age, the people in the congregations appreciated the sermons of Bonhoeffer.

On Easter (of 1928), with Olbricht away, Bonhoeffer preached again and the next week too. Each time he challenged his hearers and somehow won them over, It soon happened that whenever Bonhoeffer was scheduled to preach, the congregation grew noticeably. Olbricht noticed and promptly discontinued announcing the preaching schedule! 

Pulpit jealousy?

Pastor Olbricht should have been thankful that the Lord was using the Bonhoeffer in the pulpit.

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 77).

When Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in Barcelona in 1928, he served as a pastor in a German community. Eric Metaxas wrote the following on the sermons of Bonhoeffer…

Bonhoeffer’s sermons challenged the congregations both spiritually and intellectually. In his first sermon he leaped into his favorite subject, the difference between a faith based on our own moral efforts and one based on God’s grace. Along the line he mentioned Plato, Hegel, and Kant, and quoted Augustine. One can only imagine some of the Barcelona businessman puzzling over this earnest twenty-two-year-old, freshly descended from the ivory tower.

And yet there was an undeniable vitality to what he was saying; he rarely lost their attention.    

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 77).

When Dietrich Bonhoeffer was in Barcelona in 1928, he served as a pastor in a German community. One of his responsibilities was the children’s ministry. He basically had to build the ministry from the ground up…

…in Bonhoeffer’s first Sunday, the children’s congregation consisted of one girl. In his diary, Bonhoeffer wrote, “That will have to improve.” It did. His winning personality made a good impression, and the next week fifteen students came. He visited the homes of all fifteen that week, and the next Sunday, there were thirty. From then on, there were always thirty or more in every service.

Bonhoeffer loved his work with children.

He was stunned at their theological ignorance, but also found it wonderful: “They have not yet been tainted in any respect by the church.”

(Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas, 77).

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