Unity in a Divisive Age: A Life Hidden in Christ

Posted by in Blog, Faith & Life | 0 comments



The Unity of A Life Hidden in Christ


In an era that requires living life out loud and online for all to see, how can we be hidden in Christ?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together speaks across the ages into our divided present, advocating the believer’s

            Oneness with Christ

            Unity with Fellow Believers

            Unity of the Life Hidden in Christ.

In this, the last of my posts on Bonhoeffer’s thoughts on unity, we’ll consider what it means to have the unity of a life hidden in Christ.


Hidden in Christ = Immersed in Jesus

It’s easy to see the content of our daily lives as separate from God, but Bonhoeffer reminds us that the “‘it world’ is only an instrument in the hand of God for the purification of Christians” (70). We are to live a seamless life, one that is immersed (or hidden) in Christ; that means that we bring our humanity into the spiritual community.

To bring our humanity into the spiritual community, we must consider what the spiritual means to the physical and vice versa. My nine-to-five, day-to-day existence – what does that mean for and to my spiritual life? Living that kind of seamless life means that I also have to consider how the time I spend behind stained glass or in the pages of scripture affects what I do and say each day.

When we are hidden in Christ, we live seamless, connected lives — lives that are immersed and surrounded by Christ’s work for us.


Shared sorrows and joys

Bonhoeffer warns that a “purely spiritual relationship is not only dangerous but also an altogether abnormal thing” (38). The concerns of everyday life must spill over onto the spiritual community, giving us the opportunity to minister and be ministered to.

Both joys and sorrows are part of life; Bonhoeffer writes that “the Bible can characterize the whole life of the Christian as bearing the Cross,” but we are not called to do this alone. “It is the fellowship of the Cross to bear the burden of the other” (101).

As fallen creatures, Bonhoeffer writes notes that we indulge in “wish dreams,” but as those are destroyed, disillusionment follows. Being in community helps us remember that we cannot live “by our own words and deeds, but only by that one Word or Deed which really binds us together—the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ” (28).

Bonhoeffer’s advice to “speak to one another on the basis of the help we both need” helps bind us together, as we realize that we all face discouragement at some point.


Intrinsic Faith that Signals Redemption

Bonhoeffer’s little book reminds us that we are bound together as believers in Christ. In the midst of both joy and sorrow, those bonds link us to Christ, who suffered sorrow for our joy and for our salvation.

A life hidden in Christ reveals an intrinsic faith that recognizes the redemptive value of pain and tragedy and sees the unity of life. The Christian imagination can always see the hope of the better world coming, in spite of the fact that the journey begins “in dismay,” as C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity.

The unity of a life hidden in Christ is a unity

that brings humanity into the spiritual community,

that recognizes the dismay in beginnings but gestures toward hope.


How can believers show unity?

Unity will be visible today as we become those who:

are close to contemporary life and sensitive to reality;

see the way of discipleship and walk it to the end.


the believer’s oneness with Christ,

the unity we share with fellow believers,

and the hiddenness of our life in Christ

moves us closer to this goal, helps us to signal grace to those around us.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>