Friday, December 26, 2008

Ross and Bonhoeffer

Hat Tip for quotes: martha, martha

"The church commences at the manger, a scene fraught with human messiness and hardly engaging at first glance. Yet this is the dawn of the church: transcendence indwelling the most ordinary of human events; a birth; a love-struck God going to great ends to get in on life with us in the most intimate way possible; a family driven to a shabby stable by the demand of emerging life; a newborn's wail; mystery in the night sky; wise people looking beyond their wealth, power, and knowledge for something more.

Every one of them are struck by wonder, knocked to their knees by Holiness that takes their breath away.... Transcendent Power breaks into our agendas with audacious vulnerability, needing shelter, human love, nurture, and reverence. And miracle of miracles, through revealing its need of us, we are the ones transformed."

--Loretta Ross

"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.

Only when we have felt the terror of the matter, can we recognize the incomparable kindness. God comes into the very midst of evil and of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. And by judging us, God cleanses and sanctifies us, comes to us with grace and love. God makes us happy as only children can be happy. God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be---in our sin, in our suffering and death. We are no longer alone; God is with us. We are no longer homeless; a bit of the eternal home itself has moved into us...."

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Bryan said...

Hi Paul,

Where did you pull the Bonhoeffer quote from?

Bryan <><

Paul Stilwell said...


I originally got it from the martha, martha blog to which I link.

She in turn got it from:

The excerpt is from:

“A Testament to Freedom, the Essential Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer", edited by Geoffrey Kelly and Burton Nelson, and now in a must-have book of Advent and Christmas readings called Watch for the Light.