Advent 1: Bonhoeffer on the Blessedness of Waiting

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icon by C. Pate Jr.

icon by C. Pate Jr.

Advent begins today.

Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) ushers us into this holy season. Imprisoned by the Third Reich, he knew what it was to wait---hopeful for his release, to see the ones he loved, for the war to end. Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes:

Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent. One waits, hopes and does this or that or the other, things that are really of no consequence, but the door is shut, and can only be opened from the outside.

Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot...Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting--that is, of hopefully doing without--will never experience the full blessedness of fulfillment.

For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing and becoming.

Will you enter into the austere blessedness of waiting this Advent?

icon by C. Pate, Jr.

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Jeremiah 33:14-16 New International Version (NIV)

14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

15 “‘In those days and at that time

I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;

he will do what is just and right in the land.

16 In those days Judah will be saved

and Jerusalem will live in safety.

This is the name by which it[a] will be called:

The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

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