Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran Pastor and Nazi resistor in Germany. Even back in 1933 he stood against Hitler. He ended up imprisoned and executed for his role in the assassination attempts against the Fuhrer but even in jail he ministered to so many. His writings survived through the kindness of guards and good friends.

Consider the following letter from Bonhoeffer written from his jail cell in 1943: I think we’re going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. The very fact that outward circumstance precludes our making provision for it will show whether we can be content with what is truly essential. I used to be very fond of thinking up and buying presents, but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious; the emptier our hands the better we understand what Luther meant by his dying words: ‘We’re beggars; it; it’s true.’ The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth.

I suspect that for many of us the time will come in some fashion when we are beggars thereby emptied of ourselves and more open to God. I pray that for all of us in these days of Advent and Christmas we can honestly say that we have nothing to give and instead receive the grace, the love and mercy that God extends to us in his Son, Jesus. Be assured that those who are humble and broken will be the first to taste of the goodness of God in this life and in the life to come. Amen

I have just been watching THE BIBLE: the epic series produced through the history channel and it’s quite wonderful. Be on the lookout in February for the movie, THE SON OF GOD, which I understand, comes in part from this series.

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