“Other people next to me who may be completely immersed in their affliction, who may be quite different from me, strangers—they too are evidently willed by God. The utter dissimilarity of the individuals pales into insignificance before the sovereign unity of the divine word. We become aware that one person cannot have anything in common with another, completely alien, unknown ‘You’, that they fundamentally differ even in the very core of their being. Yet this very insight makes it clear that divine action alone is able to intervene here, that what sustains the community can be nothing but the love given by God into our hearts. Thus one person reminds the other of the God who wants them both in the same church-community. Through the other concrete human being I recognize the glory and power of God’s kingship, and from the assembly thus springs adoration and confession of faith in God and God’s church-community.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sanctorum Communio, pg. 229.


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