bonhoeffer 3Whoever cannot be alone should beware of community. Such people will only do harm to themselves and to the community. Alone you stood before God when God called you.

Alone you had to obey God's voice. Alone you had to take up your cross, struggle, and pray and alone you will die and give an account to God. You cannot avoid yourself, for it is precisely God who has singled you out. If you do not want to be alone, you are rejecting Christ's call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called...

But the reverse is also true. Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone. You are called into the community of faith; the call was not meant for you alone. You carry your cross, you struggle, and you pray in the community of faith, the community of those who are called. You are not alone even when you die, and on the day of judgment you will be only one member of the great community of faith of Jesus Christ...

Whoever cannot be alone should beware of community. Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone.

Biblical Wisdom

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. Romans 12:4-5

Questions to Ponder

Why do so many people in our society seem to fear being alone?
Why do so many churches seem to be mere aggregates of individuals rather than true communities of faith?
In what ways can a disciple establish a healthy balance between aloneness and community?

Psalm Fragment

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:1-2

Journal Reflections

Write about times when you have intentionally been alone. How did it make you feel? What did you do? Did your aloneness have any impact on how you felt when you were with others again?
Write about your experience in community. Do you feel an integral part of your community? Do you feel like you have a good balance between time in community and time alone?


Intercessions

If you know anyone who seems lonely, pray that they might discover true community. If you know anyone who seems afraid to be alone with themselves, pray that they might discover the joy of solitude, of being alone with God.

Prayer for Today

O Lord, when I am too much alone, help me seek community. When I am too dependent on the community, help me to set aside time to be alone.

40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

Reflections to Consider

  • 1

Publications

  • 1

Music

  • 1

Audio & Video

  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • 1

Favorites

  • A Model for Coming to God-adapted from Sylvia Gunter +

    Sylvia Gunter uses Psalm 35 to show how David asked God to contend, fight, rescue, defend, vindicate Read More
  • Soaring by Surrendering +

    How do birds soar? Read More
  • Forgiveness Leads to Thriving: John 21 +

    How we deal with our daily sins determines whether others see Jesus in us. Read More
  • 1

Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
  • 1