Day 194, Evening
Today’s evening meditation is available below in audio and script formats. The audio version is also available for free download on the player.
“We live by responding to the word of God. Since this word is addressed to our entire life, the response, too, can only be an entire one; it must be given with our entire life as it is realized in all our several actions.”
As your day draws to a close, spend a few moments in silence and stillness.
The German Lutheran pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), who was executed at Flossenburg prison camp, could be considered a modern prophet. Robert Ellsberg writes about Bonhoeffer’s impact over time and his invitation today.
Bonhoeffer’s witness has inspired other Christians wrestling with the ethical dilemmas of responsible action in the face of oppression. Through most of his career Bonhoeffer had espoused a pacifist position, and he never ceased to believe that violence was inconsistent with the ideals of the gospel. In the end, however, he believed that the crisis of the times was so grave as to require that certain Christians willingly compromise their purity of conscience for the sake of others.
As a theologian, Bonhoeffer’s reputation rests largely on the vision forged in the confinement of his last years and disclosed in letters smuggled to his friend, Eberhard Bethge. Here he outlined the need for a new “religionless Christianity,” a way of talking about God in a secular language appropriate for a “world come of age.” Traditional religious language tended to posit a stop-gap deity occupying a “religious” realm on the boundaries of day-to-day life.
For Bonhoeffer, following Christ was a matter of engagement in this world, “living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world.
May the God of forgiveness wipe away our transgressions, and may he inspire us to forgive those who have offended us.
May the God of peace bring an end to injustice, violence, and war.
May the God of generosity instill in each of us compassion and giving without counting the cost.
May the God of all people on Earth lead us to the acceptance of all his children as equal and equally needful of a fair share of his abundance.
May the God of love continue to shower his blessings upon us, keeping us mindful of his constant loving care. (DZ)
BC The Belgic Confession
CAC The Center For Action & Contemplation
CD The Canons of Dort
CIB Church In Bethesda Prayers
DZ - Donna Z.
HC The Heidelberg Catechism
MAO - Michael A. O’Sullivan
NT The New Testament
OT The Old Testament
RP - Ryan Phipps
WC The Westminster Confession
WLB Words To Live By
WLC The Westminster Larger Catechism
WSC The Westminster Shorter Catechism