Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barth and Bonhoeffer....

About three years ago, I got a book for some light summer reading called "The History of the Jewish People." Ahem. What made me think that I would get through that in the summer with the entire clan around? It went something like this:

Get self settled in lounge chair, open book, Start to read the first sentence, "In the beginning..."
Child number four, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number four, "What's for dinner."
Me, "Food."
Child number four, "Okay."

I would take a sip of coffee, re-open book. Where did I leave off? Oh, yes. Right here:
"...when..."

Child number three, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number three, "Watcha' doin'?"
Me, "Pretending to read. Why?"
Child number three, "Just wonderin'. So, okay. Have fun with that.By the way, what's for dinner?
Me, "Ask child number four."

Open book. "the Jewish people..."

Child number one, "Mom?"
Close book, lose place.
"Yes?"
"Can I have a ride to the mall? And what's for dinner?"

Put book away. Try again when no one is around...maybe in September 2028. From what I gleaned from that tome, the Jewish people have been around for a very long time.

So what made me think reading a biography about a "simple" guy like Bonhoeffer would go smoothly. Bonhoeffer studied the works of Karl Barth and wrote his doctrinal dissertation at the age of 21...Seriously, have you ever tried to study Barthian theology with a Maggie running around, much less a Mona or a Maghoo? Not an easy task to say the least. Given the fact that I have lost my reading glasses about ten months ago, reading is way harder now days. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust back to the page and even longer for me to find the correct arm length to attempt reading at. I suppose I could go get new glasses but that is on my list of things to do this summer, and it is only the first day of summer here. I got me some time on that one.

Why the Barthian theological interest? I think it satisfies the Pharisee in me. I like knowing stuff. I also think it is perfect for the times we live in. Of course you will have to google Karl Barth to figure some of this out yourself. I am just starting to get a grasp on some of this my own self.

But from what I have grasped thus far, this study has shown me how nothing I am with out Him. His hand on me, takes me from nothing to the status of Princess. And not one who gets to sit around on my laurels. His royal protocol is not full of man made honor. He expects each praise to mean something. I cannot force His holy Hand to act. I can only trust His will. Oh, I get to tell Him anything I want...and I think that pleases my King. But I cannot get Him to behave in the way I would like.

Somewhere between the last sentence I have read in the Bonhoeffer biography and His holy word, I am finding my heart to serve a Holy God who has a plan and the amazing thing is that His heart is to actually share it with the likes of me.

Happy Wednesday all!

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