Alone and cold in a German prison, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote to his fiancee: “I think we are going to have an exceptionally good Christmas.”
As I sit in warmth and comfort, enjoying the gathering family and the growing pile of presents, anticipating hearty meals and the joys of wonderful surprises, I wonder at his words.
My idea of an “exceptionally good Christmas” does not include facing death in a prison cell while a world war is raging. What was Bonhoeffer thinking?
The very fact that every 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’s true.” The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth. — Letter to Maria von Wedemeyer, December 1, 1943
Wishing you an “exceptionally good Christmas” and the true joy of the season that only the peace of God in hearts can bring.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
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