Tag Archives: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #16 ~ Full Of Wonder

“To those who recognize in Jesus the wonder of the Son of God, every one of his words and deeds becomes a wonder; they find in him the last, most profound, most helpful counsel for all needs and questions. Yes, before the child can open his lips, he is full of wonder and full of counsel. Go to the child in the manger. Believe him to be the Son of God, and you will find in him wonder upon wonder, counsel upon counsel.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #10 ~ Divine Love

“We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.4 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is In the Manger

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #9 ~ The Mystery

“The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #8 ~ Greedy Eyes

“Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #5 ~ His Wonders

Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas

 

Christian Community

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“Christian community is like the Christian’s sanctification. It is a gift of God which we cannot claim. Only God knows the real state of our fellowship, of our sanctification. What may appear weak and trifling to us may be great and glorious to God. Just as the Christian should not be constantly feeling his spiritual pulse, so, too, the Christian community has not been given to us by God for us to be constantly taking its temperature. The more thankfully we daily receive what is given to us, the more surely and steadily will fellowship increase and grow from day to day as God pleases.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Impressions About Christmas

Christmas Logo

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Most of our impressions about Christmas revolve around concepts like “peace” and “harmony” and “unity.” But the first Christmas was filled with intense contrasts. On one hand, we have Herod who is willing to murder countless innocent babies in order to save his position as king. Then there are the three Magi, the wise men from the east:

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11

These were gifts of great monetary and symbolic value:

  • MYRRH was a substance used in embalming fluid. This little boy had been born to die as the Savior of mankind! So in giving that gift, the wise men said, “You are Savior, You are worthy to be trusted, we trust You fully.” 
  • INCENSE was burned in the Tabernacle and in the Temple as an act of worship to God. In giving frankincense, they were saying, “You are God, and You are worthy to be worshiped!” 
  • GOLD was a gift given to kings. In giving the gold to Jesus, they said, “You are King, You are worthy to be followed.”

There was a time when your sinful nature was inclined to do what Herod did – clinging to and defending your position as king of your own life. But now that you are in Christ, now that your sinful nature has been crucified with Him (Romans 6), now that His Holy Spirit lives within you (Romans 8), you can listen to His voice that invites you to bow down and worship the Child as Savior and King today.

Jesus, my Lord! With great joy, I follow the leading of Your Spirit in my heart today. I bow before You as my Savior and my King. May my words, thoughts, and actions all be expressions of sincere worship to You. Amen.

Article by Pete Briscoe


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