Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jesus, Socrates and Easter

Easter? We're paying more attention to dying than to death. We're more concerned to get over the act of dying than to overcome death. Socrates mastered the art of dying; Christ overcame death as 'the last enemy' (1 Cor. 15:26). There is a real difference between the two things; the one is within the scope of human possibilities, the other means resurrection. It's not from ars moriendi, the art of dying, but from the resurrection of Christ, that a new and purifying wind can blow through our present world. Here is the answer to "Give me somewhere to stand, and I will move the earth" (Archimedes). If a few people really believed that and acted on it in their daily lives, a great deal would be changed. To live in the light of the resurrection -- that is what Easter means.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Eberhard Bethge (27 March 1944), Letters & Papers From Prison

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