Have you ever thought what it would be like to be hauled off to prison? Suspecting that you would never leave that prison alive! What kind of thoughts would race through ones mind when anticipating such a fate. Would their be confusion, fear, anger, hate, anxiety or composure Most people find the lack of certainty for ones tomorrows unsettling, especially when the outcome appears to be rather dismal.
A Lutheran clergyman and university professor lived that experience. His reaction seemed to be one of extreme composure. Working as an intense person seeing the larger world around him as opposed to the real world of reality. One can only imagine the wisdom he parted to his students. Who were fortunate enough to absorb his lectures. No doubt Christ, saw him as a man who practiced, Matthew 3:8, 24/7. Which says, “Bring forth, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance.” A worthy goal for each of us to strive for, in our own humble and inadequate ways.
Interesting enough, when one experiences the newness of life in Christ. Very ordinary people like you and me are able to become more than we ever thought we could become. That is the lesson of, 2 Corinthians 5:7-8. Which reads, “For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” That kind of strength comes from 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, “If any person be in Christ, they become new creations; old things are passed away *behold* all things are become new. And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given unto us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Professor Bonhoeffer participated with an underground movement that plotted to kill Adolf Hitler. He was executed for his participation in that plot. But while imprisoned, he composed a manuscript of his thoughts. They were later published and the book was titled, “Letters from Prison.”
Here are a some of his thoughts. “In the larger sense the entire planet is the House of God. Suggesting that the Christ followers should be chasing the money changers from the House of God. And providing for the temporal needs of humanity. But commerce and government have little to worry about because Christianity has become the whore of commerce and government. Leaving a small contingent of Christ followers to execute his edicts for the temporal survival of the masses. And as any observer can see, the scale is very tilted in favor of commerce and government.”
There came one, John the Baptist, who perhaps was Bonhoeffer’s inspiration. He told the people that if they had two coats give one away. The same sharing should occur with food, Luke 3:11. Providing for the temporal needs of the community is an intricate part of our Christian responsibility. But as we all know, the more things change, the more they stay the same. As Bonhoeffer noted, commerce and government have little to worry about from the Christian community. But he also noted which is true today, there will always exist a small contingent of Christ followers, who will execute His edicts.
Bonhoeffer and John the Baptist shared another commonality. They both sacrificed their lives for their behavior based on their belief in God’s edicts. Both preached, the life transforming power of Christ. John the Baptist put it this way, “…I indeed baptize with water; but one mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, Luke 3:16.
Bonhoeffer put it this way, ” Cheap grace is the deadly sin and the enemy of the church. We are fighting today for costly grace. Cheap grace is the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner.”
The life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer represents what costly grace means. All of his books are a worthy read because they are based upon sound Christian theology with practical applications. Every life counts, and every contribution matters. No matter how small the contribution might seem. Because in Christ, there is no such thing as a small contribution. It is just a matter of finding the proper seeds to sow, based upon the climate.
This Padre duly ordained, and also having a degree in political science. Is available to address the broad spectrum of organized secular groups within our communities. Right through to the many denominational churches doting the American landscape.
Exercise your prerogatives from vast repertoire of interest to be explored. From the galaxy of the conventional to the corridors of issues usually avoided.
Scheduling can be accomplished through the Contact Us link on my Home page. Living room conversations work well, as do other forums where people can gather. Private consultations are also available by issue or topic. Through the various mediums of your choice.
CfS is a church without walls, and therefore, without membership.