How does your day begin?

Life Together was written based on his experience. He led a group of seminary students who lived together as they studied theology. Out of this experience came this book about living together in Christian community. In chapter 2 of Life Together, Bonhoeffer turns his attention to the way a day in the community was organized. The day begins with a focus on God. Why does the day begin with such a focus? “For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day’s work. At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it…All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before Him.”

Bonhoeffer quotes the Psalms:

5:3 “At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.”

88:13 “But I call to You for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer meets You.”

57:7-8 “My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. Wake up my soul! Wake up harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn.”

This sounds simple, but in practice it is easy to miss. How many of our days begin with our thoughts far from God? Even when we have the best of intentions, we often start our day with what is ahead. It requires the discipline of focus to begin with God. This is why Bonhoeffer goes on to say, “At the beginning of the day let all distraction and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to Him to whom all life belongs.”

So, how do you start your day? What fills up that first hour? What sets the agenda for what you think, how you feel, and what you want? Many times, as the begins, so goes the rest of the day.


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