I have a short list of favorite writers. That might surprise you, but it shouldn’t…because when your favorite Author is God, it makes you rather persnickety. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is on that short list. His words inspire me, challenge me, convict me. His words lead me closer to the life of Christ within I want to tap into daily. His life of passionate opposition to Hitler’s racist evil campaign against the Jewish people is a powerful testimony of standing with and for Jesus in the face of adversity and passive religion. If you want to read more about this humble servant, theologian and leader you can find many resources.
Why am I touting Mr. Bonhoeffer on this first day of Advent? Because a couple of years ago one of my poetry and blogging pals from the Great White North shared God is in the Manger – Reflections on Advent and Christmas with me. I already appreciated the man and his writing, but this quickly became a favorite of mine. To highlight passages at all means what is not highlighted will stand out more than what is- because it’s so good. Sometimes, reflecting and savoring…letting the thoughts ruminate, sink deep is the best way to enjoy a good book.
I think reading this particular devotional is especially interesting in light of the relevance of what was taking place in Bonhoeffer’s life as of the writing, and what is happening in the world today.
I will leave you with a few of the quotes from my reading after I had pulled this from the shelf in the wee morning hours.
What will you do to draw close to Christ in the season that will do all in its power to distract you from His still, small voice?
I pray you lean in and listen. He is with us. Our Emmanuel!
“Silence ultimately means nothing but waiting for God’s word and coming away blessed by God’s word…Silence before the word, however will have its effect on the whole day. If we have learned to be silent before the word, we will also learn to be economical with silence and speech throughout the day. “
“Our eyes are at fault that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”
“Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting- that is, of hopefully doing without- will never experience the blessing of fulfillment.”
“Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent. One waits, hopes, and does this, that, or the other, – things that are really of no consequence- the door is shut and can only be opened from the outside.”
“We can and should celebrate Christmas despite the ruins around us… We must do all this even more intensively because we do not know how much longer we have.”
“As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. That is the great seriousness and great blessedness of the Advent message,. Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us. Do you want to close the door or open it?”
“The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an advent season, that is, a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth.”
With you on the journey. With you in the waiting.