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God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas Paperback – August 30, 2010
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"These Advent and Christmas reflections of Bonhoeffer flew from his prison cell, flung open the doors of hope, and sailed heavenward as heart-wrenching prayers, prayers from a condemned man, prayers from a hopeful man, prayers from a man who embodied what it means to pray 'May your kingdom come.' This will be my Advent and Christmas book." Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University, and author of The Jesus Creed and The Blue Parakeet --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45) was a Christian minister, seminary professor, and theologian who became one of the leading voices of opposition against Nazism during World War II. He was a founding member of Germany's Confessing Church and was executed for participating in a plot to assassinate Hitler. His theological views have become highly influential in the years since his death.
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The material in this book is taken partly from the book of collated, Bonhoeffer writings, called, "I Want to Live These Days With You: A Year of Daily Devotions." Also, each reading includes in most cases a section from a letter or sermon from Bonhoeffer, written or given during the Christmas season.
The great value of this little 100+ page book is that the author, who never had the opportunity to compile his writing in this format, during his short life, is that they are written in context of someone who was taken from his family and fiancee, and faced with the coming execution by an anti Christ regime, in NAZI Germany. Many of these writing are written in the context of his life struggling against or suffering under NAZI oppression. So Bonhoeffer, from the outset makes no illusions of a sentimental Christmas holiday, though he surely pined for the reassurance and comfort of family. He was comforted by the Christ who came and is coming again.
There are at times hints of Neo - orthodoxy, which is not unexpected. Bonhoeffer's writing remains clear, and direct, even if much of the time, it is complex and deep.
The book is divided into five sections: Waiting, Mystery, Redemption, Incarnation, and the Twelve Days of Christmas to Epiphany.
So while these are writings of a young theologian, wrestling greatly with what Christ called him to, during some of the most difficult of times, the tone of the writings is never not pastoral, and kind. Bonhoeffer does speak to the internal callings and struggles that are common to all Christians, and his call is to point others constantly to the reality and hope that the incarnation represents.
Also each week has it's own topic, so you really focus on one idea at a time, which I really liked. The passages are excepts from letters, so it's a little different in style than most devotionals, but perhaps also a bit more personal.
It is 2016 and I've picked it up again. I am excited to go through it and be challenged again!
I realize this is January but I wanted to let you know about a book I read during Advent and Christmas. I have been looking for a good Advent book for a long time and I have found it.
This little book is divided into 5 parts:
* Advent Week One--Waiting
* Advent Week Two-- Mystery
* Advent Week Three--Redemption
* Advent Week Four-- Incarnation
* The Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany
Reading devotional literature by Dietrich Bonhoeffer can be challenging. But God is in the Manger opens up the gospel and will take you to the heart of the Christmas story.
Most of these devotions are taken from writings during the time Bonhoeffer was being held in a Nazi prison cell. Also included with each day's reading are short excerpt from Bonhoeffer's letters and passages from his Christmas sermons.
I plan to read this again before Advent 2011. We need to be reminded about the real reason for Christmas--Christ.
I plan on gifting it to a few friends next year. Highly recommend it!
Only snippets presented but each morsel from one who gave his all. Truly exhibiting the cost of discipleship.
This will be a regular read each year at advent and epiphany.