Waiting. Anticipation. Mystery. Hope. Redemption. Incarnation .. the themes associated with the season of Advent, which has just begun. The sight of the Advent wreath in my church on Sunday inspired me to take a photo after service to share with all of you. I also wanted to include our stained glass windows, which are truly radiant. To accompany the photo, I’m posting some words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer – theologian, Lutheran pastor, martyr. This is a portion of his famous “Overcoming Fear” sermon which he delivered in January of 1933 when Hitler was just coming to power, and an ominous climate of fear was very much in the air. Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis on April 9th, 1945.

Fear is breathing down our necks … Those who would try to keep up their pride, as if all this had nothing to do with them, as if they didn’t understand what it’s all about, would hardly be human. No one human could fail to understand what the people of the world have to be afraid of today.

But look here, right in the middle of this fearful world is a place that is meant for all time, which has a peculiar task that the world doesn’t under­stand. It keeps calling over and over but always anew, in the same tone, the same thing: Fear is overcome; don’t be afraid. In the world you are frightened. But be comforted; I have conquered the world! Christ is in the boat! And this place, where this kind of talk is heard and should be heard, is the pulpit of the church. From this pulpit the living Christ himself wants to speak, so that wherever he reaches somebody, that person will feel the fear sinking away, will feel Christ overcoming his or her fear.


6 thoughts on “Advent

  1. Lynn Kauppi says:

    Thank you Claudia. A message so appropriate for this time

  2. Bill says:

    To focus on your first word for a moment — it’s really all about waiting. We don’t live in a society that is very good at waiting — even when we don’t expect instant gratification, we generally don’t expect it to take more than 15 minutes or so.

    I’m not talking about waiting as an excuse for not taking action when it’s called for. I’m talking about active waiting — the kind of waiting where you’re preparing yourself. Mindful watching — and listening. (Going to Handel’s Messiah performance on Saturday.)

    • artmodel says:


      I love this comment. You hit it perfectly with “active waiting”. That is the best descriptor for Advent. And how right you are about our impatient, “instant gratification” society. Fine for inconsequential distractions and trivialities, I suppose. But for meaningful, transformative matters, it just doesn’t work.

      Enjoy the Messiah! I love its joyous and triumphant spirit.

      Thanks for commenting.


  3. johndrob says:

    Is that (large one) the Tiffany window?

    • artmodel says:

      Hi John!

      The Tiffany windows in our church are the Madonna and Child above the altar and the large angel on the right side wall. The ones in my photo are not Tiffanys.

      Thanks so much for commenting! See you soon.


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