I am taking a week off work and thinking about the coming year. Via the superb J Kameron Carter I stumbled across this Bonhoeffer quote, written in a letter to a cousin who was a fellow theologian, discussing the way he turned towards Jesus. It seems an apt soundtrack to my thoughts about 2011:
I plunged into my work in a very unchristian way, quite lacking in humility. I was terribly ambitious, as many people noticed, and that made my life difficult and kept from me the love and trust of people around me. I was very much alone and left to my own devices; it was a bad time. Then something happened whch has tossed about and changed my life to this day. For the first time I discovered the Bible. Again, that’s a bad thing to have to say. I had often preached, I had seen a great deal of the church, spoken and written about it – but I had not yet become a Christian. Instead, I had been my own master, wild and undisciplined. I know that what I was doing then was using the cause of Jesus Christ for my own advantage, and being terribly vain about it. I pray God that it never happens again. Also I had never prayed, or only very little. For all my loneliness I was rather pleased with myself. Then the Bible freed me from that, in particular the Sermon on the Mount. Since then everything has changed. I have felt this plainly, and so have other people around me.
Your Correspondent, Wrapped his presents in the dark