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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) was a German theologian and pastor who spoke out against the Nazi regime during World War II. His resistance against Hitler’s regime culminated with him being hung in a concentration camp at Flossenbürg.

Today, Bonhoeffer’s works are loved by many. His writing, despite time, is still youthful, enlightening, and inspirational.

Additionally, Bonhoeffer is most known for his rich writing on discipleship. In celebration of the Easter season, we thought it would be timely to share his comments on discipleship and the cross. [Plus, we asked if you all wanted to read something from Bonhoeffer on our Instagram account. The answer was a resounding: YES!]

So, check out Mark 8:31–38 because it’s the passage Bonhoeffer discusses in the following excerpt. Then… read and be encouraged!

DISCIPLESHIP AND THE CROSS

The call to discipleship is connected here with the proclamation of Jesus’ suffering. Jesus Christ has to suffer and be rejected. God’s promise requires this, so that scripture may be fulfilled. Suffering and being rejected is not the same. Even in his suffering, Jesus could have been the celebrated Christ. Indeed, the entire compassion and admiration of the world could focus on the suffering. Looked upon as something tragic, the suffering could in itself convey its own value, its own honor, and dignity. But Jesus is the Christ who was rejected in his suffering. Rejection removed all dignity and honor from his suffering.

It had to be dishonorable suffering.

Suffering and rejection express in summary form the cross of Jesus. Death on the cross means to suffer and die as one rejected and cast out. It was by divine necessity that Jesus had to suffer and be rejected. Any attempt to hinder what is necessary is satanic. Even, or especially, if such an attempt comes from the circle of disciples because it intends to prevent Christ from being Christ.

The fact that it is Peter, the rock of the church, who makes himself guilty doing this just after he has confessed Jesus to be the Christ and has been commissioned by Christ, shows that from its very beginning the church has taken offense at the suffering Christ. It does not want that kind of Lord, and as Christ’s church, it does not want to be forced to accept the law of suffering from its Lord. Peter’s objection is his aversion to submitting himself to suffering. That is a way for Satan to enter the church.

Satan is trying to pull the church away from the cross of its Lord.

So Jesus has to make it clear and unmistakable to his disciples that the need to suffer now applies to them, too. Just as Christ is only Christ as one who suffers and is rejected, so a disciple is a disciple only in suffering and being rejected, thereby participating in crucifixion. Discipleship as allegiance to the person of Jesus Christ places the follower under the law of Christ, that is, under the cross.

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Good Morning!

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday! We get to celebrate the greatest event in history: the physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead!

Worship begins at 10:15 am. There will be special music and a children’s sermon (no Children’s Church). I will preach about the resurrection and how it can make a difference in our lives based on Matthew 28:1-10.

He is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

Pastor Bryan

By Trevin Wax

 

April 5, 2015

jesus-resurrection

(See the previous post: My Jesus – Dead.)

Mary Magdalene went
and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord!” 
(John 20:18)

~~~~~

He is alive! This man from Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Lord of the world.

With the breath of creation, He speaks of peace, faith, and mission.

With lungs full of air, He breathes on His disciples and grants His Spirit. My Jesus – alive!

The eyes that saw the darkness of death now drink in the sunlight of Easter. My Jesus – alive!

The arms that hung from a cross of wood now embrace a a world of grief. My Jesus – alive!

The hands that bear the scars of love now lift the head of doubters. My Jesus – alive!

The ears that were deafened by death are now filled with the joy of God’s people. My Jesus – alive!

The lips that that cried out, “Finished!” now promise ”I make all things new!” My Jesus – alive!

The voice that lay silent in the grave now sings the song of life. My Jesus – alive!

The feet that were wrapped in grave clothes now stroll the shores of Galilee. My Jesus – alive!

The heart that bled for sinfulness now beats again in righteousness. My Jesus – alive!

The Bread from heaven, a feast for earth.

The Light of the world, chasing away the shadows.

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JANUARY 22, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

Two new books are now available for the Lenten season from Westminster John Knox Press.

God Is on the Cross from Dietrich Bonhoeffer presents forty stirring devotions to guide and inspire readers through Lent and Easter. Each day of the season includes a Scripture passage, with the devotions following themes of prayerful reflection, self-denial, temptation, suffering, and the meaning of the cross. Passages from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters and sermons are also included, along with an informative introduction to Bonhoeffer’s life.

Bonhoeffer (1906-45) was a Christian minister, seminary professor, and theologian who became one of the leading voices of opposition against Nazism during World War II. He was a founding member of Germany’s Confessing Church and was executed for participating in a plot to assassinate Hitler. His theological views have become highly influential in the years since his death.

Also available for Lent is N. T. Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C. The popular scholar and author provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each of the days of the season, helping readers ponder how the text is relevant to their own lives today. By the end of the book readers will have been through the entirety of Luke, along with Psalm readings for each Sunday.

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A HOLY EXPERIENCE

Only three days later, people go around with these crosses right on their foreheads.

It’s only three days after the world found out that The 21 died for being The People of the Cross, three days after that incomprehensible video stated they were “chopping off the heads of those that have been carrying the cross illusion in their heads” —-

that people all around the world people wear these sooty crosses right there on their faces, right above their eyes. Right there on their heads, shaping their minds.

Like they want to be known and marked and counted as one of those. One of His.

There are these sooty crosses smudged on countless foreheads and that’s what is murmured like a brave and honest refrain around the world today, words from our Genesis beginning:

Dust you are and to dust you will return. 

Dust.

Humanity was formed of dust and our human bodies will return to dust.

Three days later people wear it like a like a courageous confession of reality: For all our beautiful bluster — we are just beautiful dust. It’s like this early echo of what will be said over all our graves: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

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The Call for the Next 40 Days: To the Nations & People of The Cross
The Call for the Next 40 Days: To the Nations & People of The Cross

tomb

In a new piece for Christianity Today online, Andreas Köstenberger and I look at Five Errors to Drop from Your Easter Sermon. Here is a comment on the role of the women that may be helpful to remember:

As you preach this Easter, do not bypass the testimony of the women as an incidental detail.

In the first century, women were not even eligible to testify in a Jewish court of law.

Josephus said that even the witness of multiple women was not acceptable “because of the levity and boldness of their sex.”

Celsus, the second-century critic of Christianity, mocked the idea of Mary Magdalene as an alleged resurrection witness, referring to her as a “hysterical female . . . deluded by . . . sorcery.”

This background matters because it points to two crucial truths.

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Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper, which is described in the Christian bible. The day is also known as Passion Thursday, Paschal Thursday or Sheer (or Shere) Thursday. It is the day before Good Friday and occurs during Holy Week.
Stained Glass of the Last Supper

Maundy Thursday remembers Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

©iStockphoto.com/sedmak

What do people do?

Many Catholic and Anglican churches continue traditional Maundy Thursday rites that may include handing out special coins known as “Maundy money” to the aged and poor. Churches may also have the blessing of holy oil and feet washing as part of their Maundy Thursday service. Some churches have a tradition that involves priests washing the feet of 12 people to symbolize Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

Many Maundy Thursday church services take place in the evening. Maundy Thursday is known as “Green Thursday” (Gründonnerstag) in Germany, where green vegetables and salad, including spinach salad, are served as part of the tradition. Maundy Thursday is known as skjærtorsdag in Norway and is a day off for workers and students. It is known as skärtorsdagen in Sweden and is linked to a folktale about a witches’ day.

Public life

Maundy Thursday is a public holiday in countries such as (but not exclusive to):

  • Colombia.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Denmark.
  • Guatemala.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Norway.
  • Paraguay.
  • Many regions in Spain.
  • Uruguay.

It is not a public holiday in countries such as AustraliaCanadathe United Kingdom and the United States.

Background

Maundy Thursday occurs during Holy Week and remembers when Jesus Christ instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper, an event that is told in the Christian bible. It also commemorates the practice of ceremonial foot-washing to imitate Jesus, who washed his disciples’ feet before the Last Supper as a sign and example of humility and love. Holy Thursday also commemorates the events that took place on the night before Jesus’ crucifixion.

A special Eucharist commemoration on the Thursday of Holy Week was first mentioned in the North African Council of Hippo’s documents around 393 CE. There have been many references to Maundy Thursday observances after that date. Maundy Thursday was also known as Shear, Char, Shrift, and Sharp Thursday. These names are believed to have derived from cutting or trimming hair or beards before Easter during the 14th century. This particular custom signified spiritual preparation for Easter.

Roman nobility practiced washing other people’s feet during the mid 19th century. This practice is no longer common in some Protestant churches but many Catholic and Anglican churches still celebrate this Maundy Thursday rite.

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