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Bonhoeffer for today

God's Image

God does not want me to model others into the image that seems good to me, that is, into my own
image. Instead, in their freedom from me God made other people in God's own image. I can never
know in advance how God's image should appear in others. That image always takes on a completely
new and unique form whose origin is found solely in God's free and sovereign act of creation. To me
that form may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every person in the image of God's Son,
the Crucified, and this image, likewise, certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.
Strong and weak, wise or foolish, talented or untalented, pious or less pious, the complete diversity of
individuals in the community is no longer a pretext for self-justification. Rather this diversity is a
reason for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Life Together 90
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Carla Barnhill, Ed., HarperSan Francisco, 2005


Ivy said…
I really liked your first excerpt from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It reminds me of the reasons we are a “Reconciling in Christ” church. For me, as a born and bred Lutheran, the whole thing is a “duh” response for me. It also reminds me of why I believe Pastor Carlson and Pastor Krampitz baptize, marry, and bury anybody. It is up to us not to get in God’s way. If anybody comes to us, we need to treat them like God sent them and that for whatever reason, God has sent them. We must welcome them, assure them that God loves them without a doubt, and let God’s “touch” work its way.

The way I understand Lutheran theology is that it is very simple, but very hard to live out. Basically God loves us and forgives us for whatever…. In response, we have responsibilities to forgive others as God forgives us.

This whole idea makes an amazing difference in my life. I am freed to be myself and to take risks. I loved the title of one of your books :If You Want to Walk on Water: You've Got to Get Out of the Boat Do you own it? Can I borrow it?


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