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Thursday, 9 April 2009

Remembering Bonhoeffer

Today the Christian church throughout the world remembers the life and witness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This year the day falls on the eve of Good Friday. The closing verses of his poem "Stages on the Way to Freedom' are an appropriate text for reflecting on the significance of Jesus's final journey on Good Friday.

Wondrous is the change. The strong active hands are bound now.
Powerless and alone, you see the end of your action.
Yet you breathe a sigh of relief and lay it aside quietly trusting to stronger hands and are content.
Only for a moment did you touch the bliss of freedom, then you gave it back to God that he might gloriously fulfil it.

Come now, highest feast on the way to everlasting freedom,
death. Lay waste the burdens of chains and walls which confine our earthly bodies and blinded souls, that we may see at last what here we could not see.
Freedom, we sought you long in discipline, action and suffering.
Dying, we recognize you now in the face of God.

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