Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Dietrich was a German pastor in the Lutheran Church during the Second World War. The Nazi’s and their extreme ideas were making a strong influence in all parts of German society, including the Church. Dietrich and other churchmen who did not agree with Hitler and his policies, broke away from the Lutheran Church to set up their own church, called the ‘Confessing Church’. They trained their own priests and pastors outside of the control of the Nazis.

The Nazi’s of course did not like what was happening and made the life of the confessing Church very difficult. Dietrich was arrested in 1943 on suspicion of being involved in a plot to murder Hitler. He was executed by German police on this day 70 years ago.

Having read some of his books and letters, what I like most is that when training his priests he tells them, that whatever someone offers to God through worship, it does not matter if the words are well formed or well spoken, so long as it comes from a true heart that seeks to love and worship God. That is what matters.

Sometimes in our Deaf services the signing might not be perfect, or someone struggles with translating from English words or their prayer is a bit unusual – Dietrich reminds us that this does not matter… if it is given from the heart then it is worship that God will be very happy with.

One thought on “Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  1. I learnt about Dietrich Bonhoeffer from a German in 1966 the year I started my adventures into both East and West Germany. He was killed only a month before WWll (in Europe) had ended.

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