Life Together: Prayerbook of the Bible

By Gerhard Ludwig Müller; Albrecht Schönherr et al. | Go to book overview
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COMMUNITY

“How VERY GOOD and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!” 15 (Ps. 133:1).1 In what follows we will take a look at several directions and principles that the Holy Scriptures give us for life together2 “gemein-same Leben” under the Word.

The Christian cannot simply take for granted the privilege of living among other Christians. Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. In the end all his disciples abandoned him. On the cross he was all alone, surrounded by criminals and the jeering crowds. He had come for the express purpose of bringing peace to the enemies of God. So Christians, too, belong not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the midst of enemies. There they find their mission, their work. “To rule is to be in the midst of your enemies. And whoever will not suffer this does not want to be part of the rule of Christ; such a person wants to be among friends and sit among the roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the religious people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If

1. The biblical texts cited in Life Together are, for the most part, from the Ger-
man translation of the Bible by Martin Luther, Die Bibel oder die ganze Heilige
Schrifl des Alten und Neuen Testaments nach der deutschen Übersetzung D. Martin
Luthers,
1911. In the New Testament citations Bonhoeffer also depends on Eber-
hard Nestle's Novum Testamentum Graece et Germanice, 1929. Unless otherwise
noted, the translation of the NRSV has been used here. “GK”

2. Where possible, the translation “life together” has been used for gemein-
same Leben.
The phrase can also be translated as “common life,” just as gemein-
same Gebet
can mean “common prayer.” Bonhoeffer often qualifies this phrase
by referring to it as “life together under the Word.” “GK”

-27-

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