Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bonhoeffer and his hymn


At Church today we sang a hymn by Dietrich Bonhoffer, The German Pastor who opposed the Nazis and was eventually executed. I have read a few of his books, but I never knew that he wrote hymns.

It was rather dreary the tempo and melody. Yet it was powerful. I couldn't help ponder where was he when he wrote this. In some Nazi gaol? Was it a prayer for him, his gaolers, his family?

It made me reflect on the place where worship Christian songs originate from. Certainly not the horror where Bonhoffer's came from? (I suspect most are to advance the profile of a Church or denomination, not out of total desperation.)

So yes I was moved: I sang, reflected the wonders of Bomhoffer's words and the Glory of God.


1 People draw near to God in their distress,

pleading for help and begging peace and bread,

rescue from guilt and sickness, nearly dead.

Christian or not, all come in helplessness.

2 People draw near when they see God's distress:

find God rejected, homeless, without bread,

burdened with sin and weakness, nearly dead.

Christians reach out to meet God's wretchedness.

3 And God draws near to people in distress,

feeding their souls and bodies with his bread;

Christian or not, for both he's hanging dead,

forgiving, from the cross, their wickedness.


(Interestingly the version we had at Church the 1st verse didn't have 'Christian or not' rather 'faith or not')

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