Gracious God, the Beyond in the midst of our life, who gave grace to your servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer to know and teach the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, and to bear the cost of following him: Grant that we, strengthened by his teaching and example, may receive your word and embrace its call with an undivided heart; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
I was first introduced to Dietrich Bonhoeffer on my twenty-first birthday, quite literally. Growing up in the Church, I had never before heard his name. When I turned twenty-one at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (where I was spending my junior year of college abroad) I was given a copy of Letters and Papers from Prison by a German pastor who had studied at the University of Tubingen, in Germany. Jorg was at St. Mary’s College in St. Andrews working on a PhD. That year was important in my own faith journey, a time when I was beginning to test out and verbalize my own sense of call to ordained ministry and Jorg was a good friend whose insights I greatly valued. In the book, he inscribed these words: "For to live in the world without God, with God: Just a piece of theology on the way to the truth which He will show. Jorg. St.Patrick’s Day, 1984."
This coming Saturday, April 9, I'll have an opportunity to reflect on Bonhoeffer's life and witness at St. Luke's Church in Worcester with two colleagues. Readers of this blog who are "local" may be interested in joining us, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.