Let the one who cannot be alone beware of community. One will only do harm to oneself and to the community… But the reverse is also true: Let the one who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called, the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray… It is not as though the one preceded the other; both begin at the same time; namely, with the call of Jesus Christ… The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community… Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech.
From Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Third Week of Lent
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
(from 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ron Klug—editor)
Thus there remains only one path for those who in following Jesus want to truly serve God in worship, and that is the path of reconciliation with their sisters and brothers. Anyone who comes to the word and sacrament with an unreconciled heart stands judged by doing so. It is a difficult path Jesus imposes on his disciples. But it is the path to him, our crucified brother, and thus, it is a path full of grace. In Jesus, service to the least brother or sister and service to God became one. He went and was reconciled to his human kindred, and then he came and offered himself, the one true sacrifice, to his Father.
Bonhoeffer states that: “It is a difficult path”. What makes it difficult?
He also states that, “it is a path full of grace.” Where is the grace?
Is there someone with whom you need to be reconciled? What steps might you take?
Gracious God, thank you for reconciling me to yourself; now make me a reconciler. AMEN