"Joy to the world!" Anyone for whom this sound is foreign, or who hears in it nothing but weak enthusiasm, has not yet really heard the gospel. For the sake of humankind, Jesus Christ became a human being in a stable in Bethlehem: Rejoice, O Christendom! For sinners, Jesus Christ became a companion of tax collectors and . . .
It is [Jesus'] love alone that lets him become guilty. Out of his selfless love, out of his sinless nature, Jesus enters into the guilt of human beings; he takes it upon himself. A sinless nature and guilt bearing are bound together in him indissolubly. As the sinless one Jesus takes guilt upon himself, and under the burden of this . . .
Jesus does not want to be the only perfect human being at the expense of humankind. He does not want, as the only guiltless one, to ignore a humanity that is being destroyed by guilt...Jesus becomes the one burdened by guilt--indeed, the one upon whom all human guilt ultimately falls and the one who does not turn it away but bears it . . .
In an incomprehensible reversal of all righteous and pious thinking, God declares himself guilty to the world and thereby extinguishes the guilt of the world. God himself takes the humiliating path of reconciliation and thereby sets the world free. God wants to be guilty of our guilt and takes upon himself the punishment and suffering . . .
No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. "God is revealed in flesh," the . . .
Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, all honor, all reputation, all vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high; whoever looks at the child in the manger and sees the glory of God precisely in his lowliness.
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If [Jesus] had given signs, as was demanded of him, they would have believed him. But at the the point where it really mattered, he held back. And that created the scandal. Yet everything depends on this fact...If Christ had documented himself with miracles, we would naturally believe, but then Christ would not be our salvation, for then . . .