March 17, 2014

Who would have been spared?

I just started a book by Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Life Together, and the very first two paragraphs of the very first two pages knocked me over.

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1). In the following we shall consider a number of directions and precepts that the Scriptures provide us for our life together under the Word.  
It is not simply to be taken for granted that the Christian has the privelege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. "The Kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared?" (Luther)

Who would have been spared?