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“As Long as There Are People, Christ Will Walk the Earth as Your Neighbour”

Jesus stands at the door knocking.  In total reality, he comes in the form of a beggar, of the dissolute human child in ragged clothes, asking for help.  He confronts you in every person that you meet.  As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbour, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you.  That is the great seriousness and blessedness of the Advent message.  Christ is standing at the door; he lives in the form of a human being among us.  Do you want to close the door or open it? 

It may strike us as strange to see Christ in such a near face, but he said it, and those who withdraw from the serious reality of the Advent message cannot talk of the coming of Christ in their heart, either…

Christ is knocking.  It’s still not Christmas, but it’s also still not the last great Advent, the last coming of Christ.  Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate runs the longing for the last Advent, when the word will be: “See, I am making all things new.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger

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