Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Spirituality: “From the Manger to the Cross” From a sermon by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

There are three parts to this Bible story: the flight into Egypt, the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, and the return of the holy family to Nazareth. We learn from them how God makes three great promises come true in the child Jesus: Jesus bodily experiences the history of the people of God himself; he brings to those who belong to him not only joy but also suffering and death for his sake; he lives hidden and in humility, in order to become a helper to all human beings. But all of this happens according to the promise of God. It is the fulfillment of what God decreed for the salvation of the world.

We are entering a new year. Many human plans and mistakes, much animosity and misery will determine our path. Yet as long as we remain with Jesus and walk with him, we may be assured that nothing can happen to us that God has not foreseen, willed, and promised beforehand. The consolation of a life that is lived with Jesus is that of this life, too, t will be said: It was fulfilled what the Lord had spoken.

We praise you, Lord, 
that you have everything in your hand 
and that you reign with such glory. 
You safely lead those who are yours 
through all oppression and animosity 
for Christ’s sake according to your counsel. 
Lead your church community and all its members 
in the new year along the right path for your name’s sake. Amen.

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