Saturday, February 09, 2019

Bonhoeffer: 4. the ministry of helpfulness

Saturday, February 9, 2019
    And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
    —Matthew 5:40-42 (NIV)
    Seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition in the fellowship:
    4. The ministry of helpfulness

    Active helpfulness means, initially, simple assistance in trifling, external matters. There is a multitude of these things wherever people live together. Nobody is too good for the meanest service...
    We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps—reading the Bible. When we do that, we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that not our way, but God’s way must be done.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Life Together [1954], tr. Daniel W. Bloesch & James H. Burtness, Fortress Press, 2004, p. 99 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 5:40-42; Isa. 58:6-7; Luke 10:29-37; Gal. 5:6; 6:9-10; Jas. 1:27; 4:14-15; 1 John 3:17-19
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, remove callous indifference from my heart.

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