Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born in Poland and faced the social, political, and military pressures of Nazism while spreading the Word of God.
The effects of the Holocaust were catastrophic. Many innocent lives were lost in the onslaught of Adolf Hitler’s wake.
One notable casualty was that of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 and passed away at the young age of 39 in 1945. His 39 years were very fruitful.
He was a Lutheran pastor who used his biblical theology to unite the church against the Nazi regime.
In 1933 the German Lutheran Church supported the Nazis. Bonhoeffer knew that Nazism was not coherent with Scripture, thus he and other theologians founded the Confessing Church against Nazism.
Bonhoeffer’s actions united the church in the 20th century; furthermore his writings continue to unite believers in the 21st century. Life Together, Ethics, and The Cost of Discipleship are among his critically acclaimed books.
Bonhoeffer’s faith in Christ is evident in his writings despite his terrible circumstances. He was hanged for opposing the Nazi regime.
Who Am I
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We have made a graphic so you can keep the poem "Who Am I" on your phone as your background or screensaver!
Because I am
a preacher of the Word,
I cannot expound Scripture unless
I let it speak to me
I will misuse the Word in my office
if I do not keep
meditating on it in prayer.
In me there is darkness,
But with You there is light;
I am lonely, but You do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;
I am restless, but with You there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience;
I do not understand Your ways,
But You know the way for me.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You were poor
And in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.
You know all man’s troubles;
You abide with me
When all men fail me;
You remember and seek me;
It is Your will that I should know You
And turn to You.
Lord, I hear Your call and follow;
Whoever does not
bear his own cross
and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
The person who
loves their dream of community
will destroy community,
but the person who
loves those around them
will create community.
One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it. Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to inquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us.| Source
And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
But God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find his living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of a man.
Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ.
The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain; his brother’s is sure.
A man who confesses
his sins in the presence
of a brother knows
that he is no longer
alone with himself;
the presence of God
in the reality of the
other person… in the
presence of a brother,
the sin has to be
brought into the light.
Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it.
Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in.
He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.
in the face of evil
is itself evil:
God will not hold us
Not to speak
is to speak.
Not to act
is to act.
We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretense; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical.
Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
We are not
to simply bandage
the wounds of victims
beneath the wheels
we are to drive
a spoke into
the wheel itself.
The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace.
The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.
The fact that
Jesus Christ died
is more important
than the fact
that I will die.
And the fact that
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead
is the sole ground
of my hope
that I, too, will be raised on the
day of judgment.