In his “Life Together,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer sets out to describe what the normal Christian community in Christ should look like (unfortunately it is far from what goes for “normal”). I thought it interesting how he starts out:
“It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes.”
In Bonhoeffer’s view, Jesus leads us into true community and out to the dangerous duty of bringing peace to the enemies of God. Having recently finished Eric Metaxes’ “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” I was struck with how consistently Bonhoeffer lived with this charge, even unto a violent death in the thick of foes. I was also struck with how much we in America take for granted our safe lives in the thick of friends.
Metaxes’ biography is now in paperback and can be picked up here for under $12
Bonhoeffer’s Life Together is here for under $10