Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Bonhoeffer Christmas

During this Advent season, along with a daily blog written by the people of my parish, I have been using a compilation of the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer entitled: God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas for my daily meditations. As Advent comes to an end and gives way to the twelve days of Christmas, I want to share two reflections from that collection that I find particularly compelling.  
How shall we deal with such a child?  Have our hands, soiled with daily toil, become too hard and too proud to fold in prayer at the sight of this child? Has our head become too full of serious thoughts...that we cannot bow our head in humility at the wonder of this child? Can we not forget all our stress and struggles, our sense of importance, and for once worship the child, as did the shepherds and the wise men from the East, bowing before the divine child in the manger like children?
And this:  
Joy to the world! Anyone for whom this sound is foreign, or who hears in it nothing but weak enthusiasm, has not yet really heard the gospel. For the sake of humankind, Jesus Christ became a human being in a stable in Bethlehem: Rejoice, O Christendom! For sinners, Jesus Christ became a companion of tax collectors and prostitutes: Rejoice, O Christendom! For the condemned, Jesus Christ was condemned to the cross on Golgatha: Rejoice, O Christendom! For all of us, Jesus Christ was resurrected to eternal life: Rejoice, O Christendom!...All over the world today people are asking: Where is the path to joy? The Church of Christ answers loudly: Jesus is our joy! (I Peter 1:7-9). Joy to the world!

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