40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The other service one should perform for another person in a Christian community is active helpfulness. To begin with, we have in mind simple assistance in minor, external matters. There are many such things wherever people live together. Nobody is too good for the lowest service. Those who worry about the loss of time entailed by such small, external acts of helpfulness are usually taking their own work too seriously. We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, who will thwart our plans and frustrate our ways time and again, even daily, by sending people across our path with their demands and requests.
“The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matthew 23:11
Questions to Ponder
- What are the forms “active helpfulness” might take in a community of faith?
- Is it true that: “Nobody is too good for the lowest service”? Why, or why not?
- How does taking their own work too seriously tempt people to undervalue the real needs of others?
For he [the ruler] delivers the needy when they call,
the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life;
and precious is their blood in his sight. Psalm 72:12-14
- Reflect on specific instances in which you were “interrupted by God” in the form of someone in need of help who crossed your path. What did you do? How did you feel about it?
- Write about your degree of willingness to be “interrupted by God.”
- What might the “lowest service” be in your community of faith?
Prayer for Today
Lord, as I go about my business today, don’t hesitate to interrupt me, and give me the grace to notice the interruption.
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.