Just started this book. In it I find one of my favourite quotations from Bonhoeffer, an essential inclusion in my personal canon of 'Theologians We Dare Not Ignore', quoted by Jurgen Moltmann, one of my most admired theological conversation partners.
Bonhoeffer wrote to his fiance Maria Von Wedemeyer, "God give us faith daily. I don't mean the faith which flees the world but the one that endures in the world and which loves and remains true to the earth in spite of all the suffering which it contains for us. Our marriage is to be a Yes to God's earth, it is to strengthen our courage to do and to accomplish something on earth."
Moltmann points out that these words were written under a death sentence, and while allied bombing was razing German cities to the ground, "and the blood of murdered Jews cried out to high heaven".
So, Moltmann goes on, "The important thing today is to live this faithfulness to the earth in the crises in which the man made catastrophes to the earth are being heralded. The important thing is to prove this faithfulness in the face of the indifference and cynicism with which people knowingly accept the destruction of the earth's organism and foster ecological death."
Driving up the road from St Andrews I turned off as I usually do to come from Stonehaven to Westhill across some of the shire. In 20 minutes I saw the red kites,those aernonautic show-offs, a yellowhammer sitting on the fence beside the gorse wearing its designer yellow against the golden background. And a field with over a hundred sheep and lambs, and nearer Maryculter an ostrich. Yes, an ostrich. Every time I see it, I'm reminded of a sentence in a book review years ago, used to describe someone who sees what no one else wants to see. In that sense Bonhoeffer and Moltmann are essential theologians because they "stand with head erect amongst the ostriches"!