Bonhoeffer Journal #3

Chapter 3

In this week’s reading of Bonhoeffer in chapter three, it talks about “The day alone”. This is talking about mainly how time alone is not bad and how most people seek fellowship with others because they cannot stand to be alone. He gives the example of when a man comes to fellowship when he is running away from something, they are it is not fellowship. Bonhoeffer states that “He is really not seeking community at all, but only distraction which will allow him to forget his loneliness for a brief time, the very alienation that creates the deadly isolation of man.” (Bonhoeffer) He gives this example to show how being independent and having that alone time is good, because when you are running from being alone your fears or what you are running from doesn’t go away just because you aren’t alone. He also states that “Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray, and alone you will die and give an account to God.” (Bonhoeffer) Bonhoeffer here is bringing up the point of it being okay to be alone because when it comes down to it you alone made the choice to accept Christ and you alone will have to give an account to God of your doings. There is something that needs to be done individually such as taking ownership of your personal relationship with Christ. While there is still a need for community and fellowship with other Christians there is a need to take ownership of your personal relationship as well as taking time for prayer and meditation alone.

On the other hand, it is also important to have that time in fellowship with others to have that community. God also calls us to be with our brothers and sisters in Christ. On this topic Bonhoeffer explains his thoughts; “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. You are not alone, even in death, and on the last day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ.” (Bonhoeffer) It is important to understand that we as believers must both be alone and take that time as well as community time. If we have one without the other it doesn’t work, both are needed. Community is an important piece to our Christianity because when someone is low, we can bring them. We are there to celebrate the wins and help them in the losses. Bonhoeffer, I believe sums this chapter up with this quote, “The day together will be unfruitful without the day alone.” (Bonhoeffer) This quote is so important because I think that it sums up this idea so well. The idea of needing both community and time alone is important. While we as Christians need to be in fellowship with others, we need that time alone. Both are equally important.

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