Sunday, April 09, 2017

Bonhoeffer: healing confession

Sunday, April 9, 2017
    Palm Sunday
    Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Teacher, Martyr, 1945
    Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven: “We have transgressed and rebelled, and you have not forgiven.”
    —Lamentations 3:40-42 (ESV)
    It is not experience of life but experience of the Cross that makes one a worthy hearer of confessions. The most experienced psychologist or observer of human nature knows infinitely less of the human heart than the simplest Christian who lives beneath the Cross of Jesus. The greatest psychological insight, ability, and experience cannot grasp this one thing: what sin is. Worldly wisdom knows what distress and weakness and failure are, but it does not know the godlessness of men. And so it also does not know that man is destroyed only by his sin and can be healed only by forgiveness. Only the Christian knows this. In the presence of a psychiatrist I can only be a sick man; in the presence of a Christian brother, I can dare to be a sinner.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 115 (see the book)
    See also Lam. 3:40-42; Jer. 3:13; Matt. 3:5-6; Luke 7:2-10; Acts 19:18; Jas. 5:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, help me to remember the injuries I do to others, so that I may receive forgiveness.
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