Monday, 7 December 2015

Waiting in Advent 2015
with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (9)

‘In the New Testament, our enemies are … not those against whom we cherish hostility’ ... the Irish National War Memorial at Islandbridge (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are now in the second week of Advent, and I am making my way through my own Advent Calendar for this year. Throughout 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 The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer writes:

“In the New Testament, our enemies are those who harbour hostility against us, not those against whom we cherish hostility, for Jesus refuses to reckon with such a possibility. The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother and requite his hostility with love. His behaviour must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source and that is the will of Jesus.”

Readings (Church of Ireland lectionary): Psalm 144; Amos 6: 1-14; Revelation 1: 1-8.

The Collect of the Day:

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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