29 November 2015

Waiting in Advent 2015
with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1)

The Advent Wreath in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin ... the first purple candle, which is lit this morning, recalls the Patriarchs (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

This morning [29 November 2015] is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new Church Year. I am preaching at the Sung Eucharist in Christ Church Cathedral at 11 a.m. this morning, and as the canon-in-residence this week I am hoping to take part in the Advent Procession in the cathedral at 5 p.m. this evening.

Over the next few weeks, as we journey towards Christmas, I invite you to join me in my own Advent Calendar. Each morning, for a few, brief moments I am reflecting on the meaning of Advent through the words of the great German theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).

Advent reminds us that “misery, sorrow, poverty, loneliness, helplessness, and guilt mean something quite different in the eyes of God than according to human judgment; that God turns toward the very places from which humans turn away; that Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for him in the inn – a prisoner grasps this better than others. And for them, this is truly good news.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Works, vol. 8, Letters and Papers from Prison (Fortress, 2010), pp 224-226.

Readings (Revised Common Lectionary): Jeremiah 33: 14-16; Psalm 25: 1-10; I Thessalonians 3: 9-13; Luke 21: 25-36.

The Advent Collect:

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Continued tomorrow

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