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Your Daily Advent Devotional
December 9, 2013


 

Respect for the Mystery

The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don't know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that's just what we cannot do with the mystery... Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.

Ascension joy--inwardly we must become very quiet to hear the soft sound of this phrase at all. Joy lives in its quietness and incomprehensibility. This joy is in fact incomprehensible, for the comprehensible never makes for joy.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer


I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:2-3


 

Excerpted from:

God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and ChristmasGod Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Now repackaged in a beautiful hardback edition, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's (1906-1945) God Is In the Manger is a wonderful devotional to use during the Advent season for quiet meditations on the true meaning of Christmas. His writings have been arranged thematically (Waiting, Mystery, Redemption, Incarnation), one for each day of the week, and continues through the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany. You'll also find an informative introduction on Bonhoeffer's life, excerpts from his letters, and passages from his Christmas sermons.
     

Used with permission from our friends at Westminster John Knox Press.


 

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