In his first sermon at St. George’s last Friday morning, our newest clergy member, the Rev. Sam Adams spoke of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I knew of Bonhoeffer as the Lutheran theologian who was killed in a concentration camp three weeks before Hitler’s suicide and wrote Life Together.
Rev. Adams took a complex concept from Bonhoeffer’s book, Ethics, and reduced it to a simpler statement, “We have to surrender our deeds to God in order to be free. We walk a fine line between clinging to our good deeds so we can pat ourselves on the back, or beating ourselves over the head for our bad deeds. Surrendering our deeds means accepting God’s judgment and forgiveness for them.”
Then Sam continued, “What are we to learn from Bonhoeffer? The most important thing in walking that fine line is to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t try to forget the past, but instead we need to surrender it to God. Only then can we look to the future, with our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.”