Some time back I mentioned the practice of keeping a “Saints Calendar.” Yesterday, April 9, is marked on my calendar for Dietrich Bonhoeffer. On April 9, 1945, he was executed by the Nazis for taking part in efforts to end Hitler’s control of Germany. He was 39 years old when he died.
Bonhoeffer was an academic, a pastor and a founder of a school for pastors of the Confessing Church in Germany.
I looked through some files of quotations I have saved wanting to find something from Bonhoeffer to share this week. The following taken from Life Together (which grew out of his experience with the school for pastors) got my attention more than any other,
“ … [the world] is the place where we find out whether the Christian’s meditation has led him into the unreal, from which he awakens in terror when he returns to the workaday world, or whether it has led him into a real contact with God, from which he emerges strengthened and purified. Has it transported him for a moment into a spiritual ecstasy that vanishes when everyday life returns, or has it lodged the Word of God so securely and deeply in his heart that it holds and fortifies him, impelling him to active love, to obedience, to good works? Only the day can decide.”
Rather than making a comment on Bonhoeffer’s remark, which will certainly have less innate force than his words, I think I will leave you to process these words for yourself.
I do pray we will open ourselves to deeply hear his question.