Pulled into the Path that Yeshua Walks

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison) July 18, 1944:

Being a Christian does not mean being religious in a certain way, making oneself into something or other (a sinner, penitent, or saint) according to some method or other. Instead, it means being human, not a certain type of human being, but the human being Christ creates in us. It is not a religious act that makes one a Christian, but rather sharing in God’s suffering in the worldly life. That is μετανοία , not thinking first of one’s own needs, questions, sins, and fears but allowing oneself to be pulled into the path that Jesus walks, into the messianic event, in which Isa. 53 is now being fulfilled! … This being pulled along into the – messianic – suffering of Godin Jesus Christ happens … in various ways … The one thing they all have in common is their sharing in the suffering of God in Christ. … Jesus calls us not to a new religion but to life. But what is this life like? this life is participating in God’s powerlessness in the world. I’ll write more about this next time, I hope. For today I’ll just say this: If one wants to speak of God “nonreligiously,” then one must speak in such a way that the godlessness of the world is not covered up in any way, but precisely to uncover it and surprise the world by letting light shine upon it. The world come of age is more god-less and because of that closer to God than the world not come of age. (page 466-7)

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