Christmas Promise

My musings this morning have focused upon the beauty, the simplicity, and the profundity of the following, taken from an Advent sermon delivered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer on December 21st, 1930. I include it below for your consideration and edification. I invite you to read on ~

“The great promise of God (found in Genesis 3:14-15) is fulfilled at Christmas. The Bible proclaims that the great miracle of the incarnation has happened as an act of God, without any human doing. What happened? God had seen the misery of the world and had come Himself in order to help. Now (through the miraculous circumstances surrounding the birth of a baby in Bethlehem) He was come, not as a mighty one, but in the obscurity of humanity, where there is sinfulness, weakness, wretchedness, and misery in the world. That is where God came and where He still comes, and there He lets Himself be found by anyone who would believe. And this proclamation moves through the world anew, year after year, at Christmastime.” (edit jfo)

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a Son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them in the Inn.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is please.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the Baby, lying in the manger. After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this Child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. And the shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” (Luke 2:1-20, nlt)

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