Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Stumbled across this tiny book at a garage sale and it sat on my book shelf until Mike Cope mentioned it in a recent blog. I grabbed it and read. There were some chapters I almost got lost in, but others that I totally related to. I enjoyed the fact that the author used so many scriptures.

Ps. 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. This is the very first sentence in chapter one. This book spoke to me on so many levels.

Zech 10:9 When I scatter them among the peoples,
They will remember Me in far countries,
And they with their children will live and come back.

Our kids fly out tomorrow to Lima, Peru.

Since we have been living in Abilene, we have enjoyed getting to spend time with the Thai Team who is supported by the A&M church of Christ during their training year. They will be leaving for Thailand in early September. By the way, the Thai Team had a wonderfully successful garage sale on Saturday (they are in the transition from training to spending time with their families). Haley Edmiston is in the back, light hair and holding one of the babies. We have had the honor of having her live with us since we moved to Abilene.

We have also been able to get to know one of the girls on the Conce Team (Chile). Deanna Meredith attends worship time and Bible class at Hope church of Christ, our home congregation. Their full time training will begin later this year. It seems we have been around the idea of missionaries for all of our married life. Our family has watched the Aggies for Christ send many out each summer and both of our girls started going on mission trips with the youth group when they were in 8th grade. There have been so many Aggie reports on Sunday evenings in College Station - telling how other Christians were a joy and strength to so many college students. This is true for us each time we meet together in homes or in the many bldgs.

Team Conce (Chile) - Deanna is in the back with the purple jacket.

Bonhoeffer says, "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...we meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation."

The chapters in this book are: Community, The Day with Others, The Day Alone, Ministry, and Confession and Communion. God's People and His Word are so much a part of our lives, our every day life if we allow Jesus Christ to be our unity, our peace. "Through him alone do we have access to one another, joy in one another and fellowship with one another."

It is hard for me to say what I liked the most but i really loved the idea of a chapter on ministry. Some that Bonhoeffer spoke to were the ministry of holding one's tongue, of meekness, of listening, of helpfulness, of bearing, of proclaiming, and of authority. Oh, so many good thoughts, but I will tell a bit about the ministry of bearing. We are all familiar with the verse, "Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ", Galatians 6:2. But what does that look like? This is what Bonhoeffer says, "Bearing means forbearing and sustaining. The brother is a burden to the Christian, precisely because he is a Christian. For the pagan the other person never becomes a burden at all. He simply sidesteps every burden that others may impose upon him." We, of course, were a burden to God and Christ had to bear our burden.

Isa. 53:4-5 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Peace to all of you, Check this book out.


mad4books said...

One of my favorite things about HOPE is that I'm surrounded by readers...David C., Damon P., Kelli B., and Honey O., to name a few!!!

(You know that this will be on the Summer Reading List now! _Cloister Walk_ and _Last of the Mohicans_ and _Life Together_, not to mention all the professional stuff I need to read...)

Kelli said...

Life Together is one of my favorite books by Bonhoeffer. Also good is his Cost of Discipleship (much of which is commentary on living out the Sermon on the Mount).

Time for another book club? ;)

Deanna said...

Hey there! Thanks for the shout out. I appreciate your support and encouragement and look forward to you getting to meet my team after our trip.