Saturday, December 11, 2010

Respect for the Mystery

I mentioned a few posts ago that I had ordered Bonhoeffer's God Is In the Manger Unfortunately, even though the company I ordered it from said "in stock" and "ships immediately" when my order arrived, it stated the book was back ordered! I was so looking forward to it! Alas, one of the other books I ordered was a compilation book of daily devotions pulled from several of Bonhoeffer's works titled I Want to Live These Days With You: A Year of Daily Devotions and I've been really enjoying the bits I've been reading day by day. I highly recommend this book of daily devotions. Some will make you think more deeply, some will encourage or inspire you, some will comfort you and others will fill you with awe even though the selections are short; a mere paragraph or two a day! I'm quite impressed by much of the selections for December and thought I'd post some of my favorites. Since I've already posted the one for today (With God there is Joy) Here is one from December 7th.

Respect for the Mystery

"The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don't know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that's just what we cannot do with the mystery... Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery in our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them."

D. Bonhoeffer, I Want to Live These Days With You, page 358

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