Your Daily Lenten Devotional
March 20, 2012
Into the Wilderness
When we have completely renounced trying to make something of ourselves–be it a saint or a converted sinner or a cleric (a so-called “priestly figure”), a righteous or unrighteous person, a sick or healthy person (and all this I would call “the here and now,” that is, living in the fullness of tasks, questions, successes, failures, experiences, and feelings of helplessness)–when we have done this, then we completely throw ourselves into God’s arms, take God’s own suffering in the world seriously rather than our own, and keep watch with Christ in Gethsemane. That, I think, is faith.
That is conversion, and it is in this way that one becomes a human being, a Christian. How should we triumph because of success or despair because of failure if in this life, here and now, we suffer God’s own suffering? You understand what I mean even if I say it with so few words. I am grateful that I have been permitted to realize this, and I know I could have done so only on the path I have indeed had to take. This is why I think with gratitude and peace of past and present things.
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Eberhard Bethge, Tegel Prison, July 21, 1944)
Meditations on the Cross
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The cross and resurrection, suffering and overcoming death were central themes in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s theological work. Meditations on the Cross contains excerpts from his letters and sermons relating to these topics and makes for insightful reading during Lent or any other devotional time.
Used with the kind permission of our friends at Westminster John Knox Press.