Bonhoeffer for Today: Revisiting Life Together

Life_TogetherMake no mistake about it, but there are a number of similarities between Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s time and our time.  Hate.  Suspicion.  Discord.  In his classic work on Christian community, Life Together, Bonhoeffer writes on what he calls Christian brotherhood.  For Bonhoeffer, Christian brotherhood is not an ideal spawned by human ingenuity.  Rather, it is a divine reality that has been opened up for us in and through Jesus Christ, for all eternity.

With the hate, suspicion, and discord that often come through religion, politics, and issues of race and ethnicity, I offer the following from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together for our consideration.

The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us.  We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity.

Though this reality has been created through Christ, we must realize it as Christians.  This will take effort on our part.  Neither can we simply pray for its realization.  We must pursue it in tangible ways.  This why Paul says, “We must make every effort to keep the unity fo the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3).

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