I love background stories and this book is structured in such a way as to tell the personal story of Dietrich’s life, including stories of his family. Bonhoeffer was a man young people always followed and this student edition has been masterfully adapted for that target audience.
When the devil throws your sins into your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: “I admit I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know the One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God. Where He is, I shall be also.”
We have grown so accustomed to the fact that there is always division into “leaders” and “mere mortals.” Those who “serve” and those who “simply come.” We have taken the “Shepherd” and the “sheep” analogy a bit too far – we’ve become sheep who eat grass and don’t do anything else.
We’ve got so used to relying on “leaders” that we don’t really see where we fit in anymore.
“Well, I am not a pastor, how can I share about Christ with my colleagues?”
I wasn’t the only one who did not enjoy Elsie’s teaching methods and in the evening next day, as I was dreading the upcoming program, good news came – she was no longer a guest speaker, and my pastor took her place. He was great and gentle as always, speaking in love, and although I don’t think kids suspected that anything was wrong, it was like an ointment for my soul. Everything was okay again. Yet, I learned my lesson – I needed to be prepared and ready at all times.
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or, perhaps, the better way to say it is “How many times have you asked yourself that question?” Remember choosing the table to have lunch during the break at school – maybe you were nervous when you came for the first time – “Will anyone there accept me? Will anyone save a seat for me? Where will I fit in?”
Although I am not a pastor myself, my mom is and so are a few of my friends. One of the main themes of the book, as I see it, is a reminder that pastors are also humans, just like all of us, “mere mortals” (i.e. the parish). We tend to forget that fact quite often (I know I am guilty of that) and, as a result, we set the standards higher for them.