The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Peaceful reading

Three books offer Christmas inspiration for troubled times

Violent hostilities persist in many nations this Christmas, in Iraq and in the Middle East, most notably for many in the U.S. Natural disasters—tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes—brought calamity across the globe this year. Amid such devastation, where do we find the message of the season for our celebrations?

Consider one of these books that are either about Christmas in disastrous times or were written during such times.

Especially poignant for Lutherans is a collection of poems by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor whose anti-Hitler activities resulted in his 1945 execution, Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Victoria J. Barnet and Wayne Whitson Floyd Jr., eds.; Augsburg Books, 2005). He wrote some of the reflections amid the life-or-death stress of teaching and preaching in secret, and defying the Nazis; others were written from prison.

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Embracing diversity