Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life was at risk every day he stayed in Hitler’s Germany, but he stayed nonetheless. I imagine he shared the apostle Paul’s view that being in heaven was his heart’s desire, but staying where he was needed was God’s present purpose (Phil. 1:21). So stay he did; as a pastor he offered clandestine worship services and resisted the evil regime under Hitler.
Despite the daily danger, Bonhoeffer penned Life Together—a book on hospitality as ministry. He put this principle to the test when he lived and worked in a monastic community and when he was imprisoned. Every meal, every task, and every conversation, Bonhoeffer taught, was an opportunity to show Christ to others, even under great stress or strain.
We read in Deuteronomy that just as God ministered to the Israelites who were leaving Egypt, He instructed them to imitate Him by loving and hosting strangers and widows (10:18-19; Ex. 22:21-22). We too are loved by God and empowered by His Spirit to serve Him by serving others in countless ways each day through kind words and actions.
Who on our daily journey seems lonely or lost? We can trust the Lord to enable us to bring them hope and compassion as we live and labor together for Him.
My life a crucible, His eye the test,
Each hour a gift from Him, the gracious Sender,
Each day a pledge to give to Christ my best. —Anon.