“A sort of joy exists that knows nothing at all of the heart’s pain, anguish, and dread; it does not last; it can only numb a person for the moment. The joy of God has gone through the poverty of the manger and the agony of the cross; that is why it is invincible, irrefutable. It does not deny the anguish, when it is there, but finds God in the midst of it, in fact precisely there; it does not deny grave sin but finds forgiveness precisely in this way; it looks death straight in the eye, but it finds life precisely within it.
Full of joy, we are enabled to believe that there was and is One to whom no human suffering or sin is foreign and who in deepest love accomplished our redemption. Only in such joy in Christ the Redeemer shall we be preserved from hardening ourselves where human suffering encounters us.”
~ From Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s work (translated by Wayne W. Floyd), Conspiracy and Imprisonment, p. 377
God, you have called me out of darkness into your wonderful light. By your Spirit, open my soul to experience your joy, and be strong in faith, in hope, and in love. The wise men followed the star, and found Christ who is light from light. May I too find the revelation of the Lord’s presence as I follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.