Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some Excerpts

Forgive me today for being just a little lazy. I finished reading The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer yesterday and I would like to share these two excerpts:
"The older the world grows, the more heated becomes the conflict between Christ and antichrist, and more thorough the efforts of the world to get rid of the Christians. Until now the world had always granted them a lodging-place by allowing them to work for their own food and clothing. But a world that has become one hundred percent anti-Christian cannot allow them even this private sphere of work for their daily bread. The Christians are now forced to deny their Lord for every crumb of bread they need. Either they must flee from the world, or go to prison; there is no other alternative. When the Christian community has been deprived of its last inch of space on earth, the end will be near."
This was translated in 1937, in Nazi Germany. As much as today saddens me with the whole debate over food- now I know it is more than that- I do find it interesting Bonhoeffer speaks of food. I also was amazed at how volatile this whole debate over standing for traditional marriage grew quickly. A little spark from a chicken man speaking to his denomination's press set ablaze a country. I supposed we shouldn't be surprised or dismayed. Jesus, Himself, said if they persecuted Him, will they not also attack His followers?
So on the Christian life, Bonhoeffer had this to say at the end of the book:
"Indeed it is wrong to speak of the Christian life: we should rather speak of Christ living in us....
And where Christ lives, there the Father also lives, and both the Father and Son through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Trinity Himself has made His dwelling in the Christian heart, filling his whole being, and transforming him into the divine image."
It is John 15- "Abide in Me and I will abide in you." This is the Christian story. Jesus lives in me. I need to be transformed to His image. Yes, I have often fallen from that. It is a growing process. Learning to pray at all turns. Keeping Jesus ever in mind.
In this food controversy, I hope to stand for what is right. I hope to be Jesus to those who hurt. Jesus is for marriage. So in a way, He is saddened by premarital sex, adulterous sex, and gay sex because that mocks what He has made beautiful. But He calls each one of us to holy sexuality. That may sound hateful to some, but as far as I can tell from reading the Bible when marriage is done God's way, people are joyful.
I sat on the porch today with a couple married 73 years, 74 in October. Simple folk in a clean, neat little trailer, who still enjoy each other. She still wears a ring he bought her when she was sixteen. And yes, they are church goers and like Chik-fil-A.
I was going to just let Bonhoeffer speak, but I still had to get my words in here. I think we all need to have a voice and the voice needs to be respected. And always, let Jesus shine through you, if He lives in your heart.
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