December 25, 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: GREAT DAY COMING:

The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

When early Christianity spoke of the return of the Lord Jesus, they thought of a great day of judgment. Even though this thought may appear to us to be so unlike Christmas, it is original Christianity and to be taken extremely seriously. When we hear Jesus knocking, our conscience first of all pricks us: Are we rightly prepared? Is our heart capable of becoming God�s dwelling place? Thus Advent becomes a time of self-examination. �Put the desires of your heart in order, O human beings!� (Valentin Thilo), as the old song sings.

It is very remarkable that we face the thought that God is coming so calmly, whereas previously peoples trembled at the day of God, whereas the world fell into trembling when Jesus Christ walked over the earth. That is why we find it so strange when we see the marks of God in the world so often together with the marks of human suffering, with the marks of the cross on Golgotha.

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.


[originally posted: 2004-12-24]

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Posted by at December 25, 2013 5:31 AM
  
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