April 17, 2022
One of the most influential books about the Christian life to appear in the last century is called The Cost of Discipleship, by the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. First published in 1937, it is still well worth reading today – even a second or a third time. Early on in the book Bonhoeffer imagines Faust, the protagonist of German legend who, in the pursuit of knowledge lives a long, complicated, and compromised life. Towards the end of his days he looks back on it all and declares, “I now do see that we can nothing know.” Bonhoeffer then contrasts Faust with a university freshman, who arrives on campus, and declares on the first day before taking a single class, “I now do see that we can nothing know.” The point is, while both say the same thing, one has put in the work and the other has not.
Today begins a stretch of days in the Christian life that beckons us to put in the work. On Easter Day we will all shout the same words, “The Lord is risen, indeed. Alleluia.” But the opportunities of Maundy Thursday (today at 7 pm), Good Friday (tomorrow from 12–3 pm), and Holy Saturday (10:30 am and 7 pm) will empower us to speak the Easter greeting with depth and meaning. Please review the schedule and plan to participate in as much as possible (note: the Good Friday service is designed with many “off ramps” in it for those who cannot make the full 3-hour journey).
On a procedural note, much in the news of late is about the new surge of the virus. For now, our policy at Grace Church remains the same. We are vaccine-mandatory, and mask-optional. For those who are unvaccinated the Good Friday and Easter Day (11 am) services will be on the livestream with a full bulletin available on the website to enhance your participation. For those attending in person, please have your proof of vaccination ready at the door.
Bonhoeffer taught that the cost of discipleship – no matter how high – is not worth comparing with the glory that God wants to reveal through you, and me, and all of creation. I hope to see you early and often over these next important days.
The Rev. J. Donald Waring