Bonhoeffer is back in Berlin and it is 1931. Things are changing in Germany and Bonhoeffer can sense it.
Bonhoeffer wrote Sutz that the “outlook is really exceptionally grim.” He felt that they were “standing at a tremendous turning point in world history,” that something was about to happen . But what? In his prescient way, Bonhoeffer sensed that whatever lay ahead, the church would be threatened. He wondered if it would survive at all. “Then what’s the use of everyone’s theology?” he asked. There were now an urgency and a seriousness to Bonhoeffer that had not been there before. Somehow he sensed he must warn people of what lay ahead. It was as if he could see that a mighty oak tree, in whose shade families were picnicking, and from whose branches children were swinging, was rotten inside, was about to fall down and kill them all. Others observed the change in him. For one thing, his sermons became more severe.
Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 121). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Also, it seems that Dietrich’s relationship with God deepened after his trip to America. He would need the light and warmth of this deeper communion with Christ. The bleak winter of war was not far off.
And I would like to tell you now quite personally: since I have learnt to read the Bible in this way— and this has not been for so very long— it becomes every day more wonderful to me. I read it in the morning and the evening , often during the day as well, and every day I consider a text which I have chosen for the whole week , and try to sink deeply into it, so as really to hear what it is saying. I know that without this I could not live properly any longer.
Metaxas, Eric (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: A Biography (p. 137). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Here are some questions to consider?
In this chapter we see Bonhoeffer truly invest himself into the lives of the young men in the confirmation class he taught.
In what ways did Bonhoeffer met their needs?
Do we take the time to love those in our lives and to be available?
How can we do this better?