When Jesus calls a man…Words for Holy Week

64 years ago today Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged for his part in the conspiracy to assassinateCost of Discipleship Hitler.  Most people who know of him know him only for one famous sentence.  The Cost of Discipleship is one of the most influential books I have ever read.  I first read it while still a college student but have returned to it many times.

Here, in context, is the famous statement. Worthy words to contemplate during Holy Week…

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther's, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call. (The Cost of Discipleship, 99)

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