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The Prison

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes…and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Advent represents the prison of our sin, the chains of living in a world of gross injustice and terrifying evil, a world that has been separated from its creator. There is nothing to do in prison but to wait for your release, to hope and pray for the sound of footsteps and the jingle of keys and the sound of the lock turning. As the door creaks open, you hear the voice of the man with the keys saying, “You’re free to go.” You dream of the day again and again as you glance through the bars on your tiny window and strain to see a glimpse of the blue sky beyond. This is what we wait for during these 24 days before Christmas: the voice of the Infant Savior saying, “You’re free. I love you. I am your hope and your peace and your joy.” It is the dream that carries us through the dark days and defies the bleakness of our prison. It is the sound of footsteps moving toward our cell. It is Advent in all its mystery and holiness.

Walking Around Your Cell

Try taking a five minute walk with God today, but take it walking around in a circle. Imagine the walls of a prison cell hemming you in, and experience the monotony of walking the same ground again and again. Then talk with Jesus about the ways in which you feel trapped, and let Him know you’re ready and waiting to hear the sound of His footsteps and the jingling of the keys.

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