God is in the Manger

I will be posting about Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas , edited by Jana Riess. The first week of Bonhoeffer’s book about Advent ponders the first week as Waiting.

Bonhoeffer: “Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. … Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting — that is, of hopefully doing without — will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.”

I was struck by that “hopefully … doing without.” Think about it. That’s what the first week of Advent is about: waiting, but it means doing without in a hopeful anticipation. Yet, without for awhile.

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  • Have had this on my list for ever. Read your tweet and it reminded me to get it. Last one on the shelf at the local B&N and the supply online is sparse. thanks for the nudge!

  • It’s beautifully put: “Hopefully doing without.” One can certainly wait impatiently, or wait without desire to do so, or wait without knowledge of what for, or even wait without expectation. But to wait with hopeful anticipation, with the promise of something to come — that’s some good stuff.


  • Tim

    A bit of a tangent, but I wonder if Scot (or many of the members of the Jesus Creed community) actually ascribe to the idea of Jesus being born in a manger – given the two conflicting/extremely non-overlapping birth narratives in Matthew and Luke. The birth narratives largely read as fictional accounts to place Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem rather than Nazareth. I wonder how many others might share this view or something like it.

  • Tim

    …should be “read to me as fictional accounts…”

  • Through his imprisonment, Bonhoeffer teaches us the meaning of his phrase.