Lent with Bonhoeffer: The Welcome of Christ

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Shrove Tuesday, February 13, 2018

“Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another…But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more.”  1 Thessalonians 4:9

It is God’s own understanding to teach such love. All that human beings can add is to remember this divine instruction and the exhortation to excel in it more and more. When God had mercy on us, when God revealed Jesus Christ to us as our brother, when God won our hearts by God’s own love, our instruction in Christian love began at the same time. When God was merciful to us, we learned to be merciful with one another. When we received forgiveness instead of judgment, we too were made ready to forgive each other. What God did to us, we then owed to others. The more we received, the more we were able to give; and the more meager our love for one another, the less we were living by God’s mercy and love. Thus God taught us to encounter one another as God encountered us in Christ. “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

-from Life Together, pgs. 33-34

(These reflections from Dietrich Bonhoeffer can be found in a collection entitled A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Daily Meditations from His Letters, Writings, and Sermons. It can be purchased HERE.)

 

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