Dietrich Bonhoeffer states the following: Let him who cannot be alone beware of community. He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and given an account to God. You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refused to be alone you are rejecting God’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called. “The challenge of death comes to us all, and no one can die for another. Everyone must fight his own battle with death by himself, alone… I will not be with you then, nor you with me” (Luther).
But the reverse is also true: Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called, the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone, even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ. If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you. “If I die, then I am not alone in death; if I suffer, they [the fellowship] suffer with me” (Luther)
Hi, I’m Dr. David Wray
I am a congregational leader for a church in Abilene, Texas. I served for 20 years in congregational staff ministry before transitioning to teaching and administering in the College of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University.
At the University I researched and taught graduate courses in Christian Spiritual Formation and practical theology. While teaching in higher education I led spiritual life retreats and presented seminars in Spiritual Formation and ministerial care in congregations in the States and internationally. After retiring from ACU, I continue to serve as an interim director of some university programs.