Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life Together Chapt. 4 & 5 (Book)

Chapters four and five of  Bonhoeffer's Life Together discuss ministry, confession, and communion. Bonhoeffer shares the importance of bringing secretive sins out in the open so that they may be combated in the light of Christ and community as opposed as attempting to fight sin alone in the dark. He also makes a great point that a Christian must not be afraid to speak nor afraid to listen. There is a time and a place where both actions are appropriate.

"In a Christian community everything depends upon whether each individual is an indispensable link in a chain [vocation/logotherapy]. Only when even the smallest link is securely interlocked is the chain unbreakable.... It will be well, therefore, if every member receives a definite task to perform for the community, that he may know in hours of doubt that he, too, is not useless and unusable. Every Christian community must realize that not only do the weak need the strong, but also that the strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of fellowship. [Notice the strength it must have taken to write this during WWII]." p 94.

"The weak must not judge the strong, the strong must not despise the weak." p 102.

"Once a man has experienced the mercy of God in his life he will henceforth aspire only to serve.... He wants to be down below with the lowly and the needy, because that is where God found him." p 94.

"His own wisdom reached the end of its tether when Jesus forgave him." p 95.

"What does it matter if our own plans are frustrated? Is it not better to serve our neighbor than to have our own way?" p 95.

"We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and cancelling our plans." p 99.

"Nobody is too good for the meanest service." p 99.

"No matter how old or highly placed or distinguished he may be, is still a man like us, a sinner in crying need of God's grace." p 105.

"The basis upon which Christians can speak to one another is that each knows the other as a sinner, who, with all his human dignity, is lonely and lost if he is not given help." p 105-106.

"The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them." p 97.

"Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking." p 97.

Learn to listen. "Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either... This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there is nothing left but... pious words. One who cannot listen long and patiently will presently be talking beside the point and be never really speaking to others, albeit he be not conscious of it. Anyone who thinks that his time is too valuable to spend keeping quiet will eventually have no time for God and his brother, but only for himself and for his own follies." p 97-98.

"We should listen with the ears of God that we may speak the Word of God." p 99.

"He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone." p 110.

"Confession is not a law, it is an offer of divine help for the sinner." p 117.

"Every person should refrain from listening to confession who does not himself practice it." p 120.

"The forgiveness of sins is the sole ground and goal of confession." p 120.

"The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is." p 118-119.

"As the members of the congregation are united in body and blood at the table of the Lord so will they be together in eternity. Here the community has reached its goal. Here joy in Christ and his community is complete. The life of Christians together under the Word has reached its perfection in the sacrament." p 122.

Chapter <Intro-1-2-3->

No comments:

Post a Comment