Like A Spring Whose Waters Never Fail


To be like a spring whose waters never fail

Adapted from Isaiah 58: 6-12, from the Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community

The readings for this day, April 9, in the text referenced above, are quite appropriate for the climate of the world and our country at this time.  I share portions of this readings for your reflection.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 - 45): April 9

"Bonhoeffer was hanged in Flossenburg concentration camp three weeks before Hitler's suicide and the end of the Second World War.  He had studied theology, and before ordination did a student exchange to the USA.  There he saw first hand the evils of racism, little guessing how relevant it would soon become to life in Germany.

He was ordained, then lectured at Berlin University, where his talk of peace was unpopular. . . . The Church in Germany was riddled with nationalism, anti-Semitism and compromise.  Bonhoeffer withdrew to a Lutheran Church in London, but he knew he had to return to Germany.

He became the director of a Confessing Church seminary, and was responsible for 25 young men, whom he tried to raise in community.  They dispersed when the Nazis closed the seminary, assessing 'the cost of discipleship.'  The net tightened around the Jews as Bonhoeffer withdrew to America, knowing that he must return again -- as a pacifist almost certainly to face death.

He became a resistance worker . . .  But it was his evasion of a the call-up for military service that led to his arrest.  He wrote to his parents and his fiancée when he was allowed to do so.  He supported and prayed for his fellow prisoners.  Perhaps he died because of his political convictions  and not as a Christian martyr, but he would have said that there was no distinction between the two.

The man who fashions a visionary ideal of community demands that it realized by God, by others and by himself.  He enters the community of Christians with his demands, his own laws, and judges the brethren and himself accordingly.  He acts as if he is the creator of community, as if it is his dream which holds thecommunity together.  When things do not go his way,he calls the effort a failure.  When his ideal picture is destroyed, he sees the community going to smash.  So he becomes first an accuser of his brethren, then God, and finally the despairing accuser of himself.

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The above are taken from:  

Celtic Daily Prayer:  Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community, San Francisco:  Harper Collins, 2002.

Where are we in our world today?

What has history taught us? Or, has it?

Originally Published April 9, 2018