Coming into Our Midst - Bonhoeffer

I stumbled across this essay by Bonhoeffer the other day. It really pricked my heart. Part of the paradox of Christianity, and of Advent, is that Christ both came in humility as an infant, but also as a King. Further, there is a second Advent we await -- when He will come again to judge and reign. We have a God, who, while mighty in power, still chose to draw near to us. This is all at once comforting and frightening.ย  "We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God's coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God's coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us. The coming of God is truly not only glad tidings, but first of all frightening news for everyone who has a conscience.

Only when we have felt the terror of the matter, can we recognize the incomparable kindness. God comes into the very midst of evil and of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. And by judging us, God cleanses and sanctifies us, comes to us with grace and love. God makes us happy as only children can be happy.

God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be - in our sin, in our suffering and death. We are no longer alone; God is with us. We are no longer homeless; a bit of the eternal home itself has moved unto us. Therefore we adults can rejoice deeply within our hearts under the Christmas tree, perhaps much more than the children are able. We know that God's goodness will once again draw near..."

 

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jesus Coming Into Our Midst (from Watch for the Light)

You can read the rest here. (It's good!)