Monday, November 21, 2011

"in the thick of foes"

     "It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians.  Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies.  At the end all his disciples deserted him.  On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers.  For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God.  So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes [(mitten under die Feinde)].  There is his commission, his work.  'The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies.  And he also who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people.  O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ!  If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared?' (Luther).
     "'I will sow them among the people:  and they shall remember me in far countries' (Zech. 10:9).  According to God's will Christendom [(Christenheit)] is a scattered people, scattered like seed 'into all the kingdoms of the earth' (Deut. 28:25).  That is its curse and its promise.  God's people must dwell in far countries among the unbelievers, but it will be the seed of the Kingdom of God in all the world.'"

     Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life together, trans. John W. Doberstein (New York:  Harper One, HarperCollins Publishers, [1954]), 17-18.

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