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Showing posts from April 15, 2007

Take off the mask

Unholy Sinners

The grace of the gospel, which is so hard for the pious to comprehend, confronts us with the truth. It
says to us, you are a sinner, a great, unholy sinner. Now come, as the sinner that you are, to your God
who loves you. For God wants you as you are, not desiring anything from you - a sacrifice, a good deed
- but rather desiring you alone. "My child, give me your heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to
make the sinner blessed. Rejoice! This message is liberation through truth. You cannot hide from God.
The mask you wear in the presence of other people won't get you anywhere in the presence of God.
God wants to see you as you are, wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to
yourself and to other Christians as if you were without sin. You are allowed to be a sinner. Thank God
for that.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Life Together 108
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer Carla Barnhill, Ed., HarperSan Francisco, 2005

This says it all

We don't know what to do or say in the midst of what seems like a world gone mad. As friends, neighbors and co-workers ask the question, "What is going on in our world,?" this statement by Bishop Hanson states it eloquently.

April 16, 2007
ELCA Presiding Bishop's Statement on Virginia Tech Tragedy
With the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
(Virginia Tech) community and the nation, we mourn, we pray, and
with the Psalmist we plead: "Out of the depths, I cry to you, O
Lord. Lord, hear my voice!" (Psalm 130:1) As family and
friends grieve the deaths and injuries of loved ones, we claim
the promise of Christ's Resurrection.
Campus ministries, congregations and leaders of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America are offering support and spiritual
care to the local community. Through the deep wounds of this
tragedy, let us renew our resolve to live together in peace.
"Holy One, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your
people, but in Jesu…

Reading for growth

Henri Nouwen hit the nail on the head when he wrote this:

Reading Spiritually About Spiritual Things

Reading often means gathering information, acquiring new insight and knowledge, and mastering a
new field. It can lead us to degrees, diplomas, and certificates. Spiritual reading, however, is different.
It means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual
way. That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by
words. As long as we read the Bible or a spiritual book simply to acquire knowledge, our reading does
not help us in our spiritual lives. We can become very knowledgeable about spiritual matters without
becoming truly spiritual people.
As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God's voice. Sometimes we must be
willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through its

Subscribe to Weekly Reflection Once-a-week…

Easter continues

Easter is not just one day for the Christian or the church. In the Lutheran tradition, Easter is 50 days, until Pentecost. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Take a look at this meditation from Bonhoeffer. This is how we live the life, realizing we are all simultaneously saints and sinners.

The Pious Community

"Confess your sins to one another" (James 5:16). Those who remain alone with their evil are left utterly
alone. It is possible that Christians may remain lonely in spite of daily worship together, prayer
together, and all their community through service - that the final breakthrough to community does not
occur precisely because they enjoy community with one another as pious believers, but not with one
another as those lacking piety, as sinners. For the pious community permits no one to be a sinner.
Hence all have to conceal their sins from themselves and from the community. We are not allowed to
be sinners. Many Christians would be unimaginably horrified if a real…