Becoming Guilty

PLEASE NOTE:  This Advent season at Faith Lutheran we are using Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “God is in the Manger” devotional booklet for daily devotions and weekly sermon themes.  What follows has been taken from that booklet.


Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.  Isaiah 1:18


Because Jesus took upon himself the guilt of all people, everyone who acts responsibly becomes guilty.  Those who want to extract themselves from the responsibility for this guilt, also remove themselves from the ultimate reality of human existence.


Moreover, they also remove themselves from the redeeming mystery of the sinless guilt bearing of Jesus Christ and have no share in the divine justification that covers this event.  They place their personal innocence above their responsibility for humankind, and they are blind to the unhealed guilt that they load on themselves in this very way.


They are also blind to the fact that real innocence is revealed in the very fact that for the sake of other people it enters into the communion of their guilt.  Through Jesus Christ, the nature of responsible action includes the idea that the sinless, the selflessly loving become the guilty.


Let us pray:  Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that, rejoicing in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


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