Living in the Story

I read this just now.  It’s from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book called “Life Together”.  He’s talking about how important the Word of God is to any form of Christian community.  Placing emphasis upon our need to move beyond ourselves, he challenges us to enter into the complete story of God’s.

An example…

“It is not in our life that God’s help and presence must still be proved, but rather God’s presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ.  It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, to His Son Jesus Christ, than to seek what God intends for us today.  The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I shall die, and the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, shall be raised on the Last Day.  Our salvation is ‘external to ourselves’.  I find no salvation in my life history, but only in the history of Jesus Christ.  Only he who allows himself to be found in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, his cross, and his resurrection, is with God and God with him.”

Am I the only one shocked by the bold part?  Doesn’t Dietrich realize that it is about me here and now?  Is he actually suggesting otherwise?

Yes, I believe he is.

1 thought on “Living in the Story

  1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is right on. It is NOT about “me” at all, and to think that Christianity is about “me” is to miss the whole point. It is not just about saving our “sorry butts”, it is about Jesus Christ incarnate, crucified, and risen, and God’s will given in Him. “We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5).

    Look at Paul’s own words: “I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 9:3-5). Paul understands that God’s plan and will isn’t about him and his individual self. God’s plan of salvation is so much bigger and greater than that. It is about the whole Church of Jesus Christ. It is about God saving the whole of His people according to His goodwill, mercy, and grace. Paul is willing to himself be lost, accursed, and cut off so that God’s plan of salvation might be carried out. Also Moses willingly stood as mediator between God and the Israelites, begging and pleading that God would spare the people of the covenant.

    It is here in this selflessness that the true work of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself up in order to save the many, is exhibited. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). What matters is NOT “me”, it is God and my neighbor whom I have been called to love!

Leave a Reply