Lent week one - Reflections by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lent week one – Reflections by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It was a few years ago when a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. He was a young man full of energy and life. A few months later he died. I still remember the moment I heard the news about his illness. I was filled with sorrow and started to grief. The same day I attended a worship service at the university I was studying. It was Ash Wednesday. The minister asked one of the teachers to come forward and kneel down. Then he made a cross on his forehead from ash he had in his hands. It was a stern reminder of our mortality! But it also helped me process my grief and find help in my sorrow. During this lent period I will upload weekly posts with thoughts and quotes from my reading, especially the book mentioned in the notes.

In the church calendar, the “Lent” period is a few weeks before Easter. For this year, 2019, it started on March the 6th with Ash Wednesday. Here are some quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s reflections on the Christian life. The book is divided in six weeks, 5 Lent weeks plus the Holy Week that leads up to Eastern.

Ash Wednesday

“God deceives no one.”

“Each of us has his or her own cross, ready, appointed, and appropriately measured by God.” Matt. 4:3-4. Psalm 51:1-3

Prayer

We should not take prayer for granted. “We pray to the God in whom we believe through Christ.”

Prayer is “the petition of a child to the heart of the Father.” Matt. 6:5-6

God is not a matter of mood

Don’t wait until you are in the right mood in order to pray. God “is still present even when we are not in the mood to meet with him.” “Interaction with God must be practised.” Bonhoeffer thought that “the morning prayer determines the day.” Psalm 5:3. Prayer does determine the day. It is an important part of living out the Christian faith.

Meditation

“In meditation, God’s word wants to enter us and remain with us.” Bonhoeffer encourages us to continue and meditate regardless of having an extraordinary experience while meditating. “To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey.” Psalm 119:15-16

 

Notes

– The quotes are from the book “God is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s reflections are chosen for Lent and Easter.

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