12 December 2015

Waiting in Advent 2015 with
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (14)

‘God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness’ … light and darkness on a winter’s evening in Skerries Harbour (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

We have come to the end of the second week of Advent, tomorrow [13 December 2015] is the Third Sunday of Advent, and there are less than two weeks to go to Christmas Day. Throughout this Advent, as we wait and prepare for Christmas, I am inviting you to join me each morning for a few, brief moments in reflecting on the meaning of Advent through the words of the great German theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).

In a letter to his 19-year-old fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer while he was in prison, separated from her and facing darkness, sorrow and uncertainty, Bonhoeffer wrote:

“… And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succour in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”

Readings (Church of Ireland lectionary): Psalms 94; Haggai 2: 1-9; Revelation 3: 1-6.

The Collect of the Second Sunday of Advent:

Father in heaven,
who sent your Son to redeem the world
and will send him again to be our judge:
Give us grace so to imitate him
in the humility and purity of his first coming
that when he comes again,
we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.

Yesterday’s reflection.

Continued tomorrow.

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