17 December 2015

Waiting in Advent 2015 with
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (19)

‘Advent makes people human, new human beings’ … where can the refugees from Syria find the lights of hope across Europe this winter? (Photograph: Picasa/Kate O’Sullivan/Save the Children)

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).

In an Advent Sermon in London on 3 December 1933, Bonhoeffer said:

“That such a genuine Advent produces something quite different from a fearful, petty, downtrodden, weak sort of Christianity, such as we often see, and which tempts us to be scornful of Christianity itself, that is made clear by two powerful challenges that introduce our text. Look up, lift your heads! Advent makes people human, new human beings. We, too, can become new human beings at Advent time.”

Readings (Church of Ireland lectionary): Psalm 113; Daniel 9: 15-19; John 1: 19-28.

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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