The Love that Unifies Always Listens

Bonhoeffer on Listening and Loving in the Body of Christ

Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor, theologian, participant in the German Resistance movement against Nazism, and a founding member of the Confessing Church. He was involved in plots planned by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was arrested in March 1943, imprisoned, and eventually executed by hanging shortly before the war's end. - source

In one of his book's entitled, Life Together, Bonhoeffer focused on the Christian calling to be in active community with one another. Through the Gospel, "Christ opened a way to God and to our brother."

Here's a quote on the importance of listening to one another in order to seek understanding and unity:

"We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them. So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have to "offer" something when they are together with other people. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking even when they should be listening. But Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either; they will always be talking even in the presence of God. The death of the spiritual life starts here, and in the end there is nothing left but empty spiritual chatter and clerical condescension which chokes on pious words. Those who cannot listen long and patiently will always be talking past others, and finally no longer will even notice it. Those who think their time is too precious to spend listening will never really have time for God and others, but only for themselves and for their own words and plans."

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together