Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Waiting in Advent 2015 with
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (17)

‘Meditation is not having great thoughts’ … a quiet corner in the garden of the Hedgehog Vintage Inn, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

During the season of Advent this year, I am working my way through my own Advent Calendar. Each morning, I am inviting you to join me for a few, brief moments in reflecting on the meaning of Advent through the words and meditations of the great German theologian and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).

Thinking about meditation, Bonhoeffer once wrote in The Way to Freedom, 1935-1939:

“Meditation is not having great thoughts, but loving the words you hear and letting them shape you.”

They are words that I find have their parallel in words of TS Eliot in Burnt Norton, where he writes:

… Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness …

Readings (Church of Ireland lectionary): Psalms 11, 12; Zechariah 2: 1-13; Revelation 3: 14-22.

The Collect of the Day:

O Lord Jesus Christ,
who at your first coming sent your messenger
to prepare your way before you:
Grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready your way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at your second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in your sight;
for you are alive and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.

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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