Andacht um den Montasspruch für Dezember 2021

Bei diesem Wort kommen mir sofort das Lied „Tochter Zion“ und drei Kindheitserinnerungen in den Sinn:

  1. Meine Mühe, den rechten Ton beim „freue“ und „jauchze“ zu treffen. (Daran hat sich bis heute nicht viel geändert.)
  2. Die Frage, wer eigentlich die Tochter Zion ist. (Jetzt weiß ich, daß die Bevölkerung Jerusalems gemeint ist.)
  3. Das Gefühl, bald ist Weihnachten. (Es stellt sich auch heute noch ein.)

Die Verheißung spurt den Weg nach Bethlehem. Mensch, du kannst etwas erwarten: „Siehe, ich komme und will bei dir wohnen“, spricht der Herr. Kommen und bleiben. Nicht mal kurz vorbeischauen, wenn alles festlich glänzt. Gott selbst will Mitbewohner sein, dir zur Seite, auch und gerade in den Unaufgeräumtheiten deines Lebens. Er wird dir helfen, sich mit dir versöhnen und dir Frieden bringen. Er meint es ernst. Freue dich darauf! Ja, natürlich, echte Freude entsteht nicht auf Kopfdruck, auch keine Vorfreude. Aber wir haben doch Zeit, die alten Worte neu zu hören, in Gedanken zu bewegen und die Her- zenstore zu öffnen. Viele Wege führen uns zur Krippe. Alle Jahre wieder. Das Singen gehört dazu. Singen Sie in der Adventszeit. Allein oder mit anderen. Spü- ren Sie Ihren Erinnerungen nach und dem, was über die Jahrhunderte in Wort und Melodie vermittelt wird. Tauschen Sie sich darüber aus und bitten Sie im

Stillen, bei Kerzenschein und Weihnachtsgebäck, daß sich die Vorfreude auf den, der kommt, um zu bleiben, regt und wächst.

Eine gesegnete Advents- und Weihnachtszeit wünscht Ihnen

Beate Williard-Bidoli

Devotion on the watchword for November 2021

Dear Congregation and Friends!

Can a heart have a direction? Can a heart change direction? Does a heart need someone to direct it? Perhaps, to answer these questions, let’s ask first: Which way is your heart facing right now? What are the things, ideas, hopes, dreams, people, your heart is focussed on at this time? A multitude of different things, surely. I know for me that is the case. I have many things I feel my heart being drawn to, many ideas, hopes and also fears that I spend a lot of time and energy on and if these weren’t there my heart would be in despair – and yet I also realise that none of them is able to give my heart peace and rest.

Martin Luther formulated the problem like this: “Worauf Du dein Herz hängst, das ist in Wahrheit dein Gott“. “What you hang your heart upon, that is indeed your god.” And John Calvin said that the human heart is a god-factory – creating idols all the time.

So indeed, our hearts need direction, need to change direction and someone to direct them. Because left to ourselves we’ll end up having hearts for all the things that usurp God’s place. Good things as they may be, they are not meant to be what our hearts are hung upon – because God has created us to be loved by God, to be the beloved of God so that we can have something to form the basis of our lives – something that isn’t unstable and insecure, something that doesn’t constantly change and confuse our hearts. The “steadfastness of Christ” is this fixed point, the “love of God” is the foundation that will hold, that will not disintegrate when all about us falls apart.

It has been another difficult year and our hopes are surely directed towards a new year that will be better, more normal, and hopefully more manageable than these two pandemic years that we’ve been through. But we do not know – there seem to be signs that “normal” will not return. So I want us to hear the watchword for November 2021 as an invitation to allow God’s love to become the focus of our hearts and the steadfastness of Christ the ground upon which we live – these are the real constants that our faith provides – the message that in spite of everything else going wrong the love of God will not abandon us and foundation of Christ’s steadfast mercy will endure. May this be your experience as you come to the end of this year.

Greetings in Christ, Felix Meylahn

October Devotion

Dear Congregation and Friends 

In the month of October each year we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation. It feels as if it was only last year that we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (it was in 2017 – that’s already four years ago). Do you remember the many ways in which we were reminded of the movement, the tumultuous events that changed the way the church understood its being and purpose? Time flies – and yet the core message of the Reformation is one that we need to hear again and again. I need to hear, I need to receive the gift, the affirmation, that I am a beloved child of God on account of the Life and Death of Jesus of Nazareth on the cross of Golgotha and not because I have somehow managed to get my own life together in a God-pleasing way. Why this need? Because our world continuously drives us into believing the exact opposite – in fact the world operates on the basis of a strict and merci-less merit system, i.e. “there’s no so thing as a free lunch!”. “You have to earn your keep!” 

Let us allow the month of Reformation to remind us of the Good News, that God’s grace is given to us freely, unconditionally, and that there is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love. Let us use this month to imagine what our lives and this world could look like if we really took this message seriously. How would we treat each other? How would I relate to myself? What would I see, when I look at myself in the mirror? The person that has made a mess of my life? The person that just doesn’t seem to get things right? The person that is weak and unstable when it comes to being good? Or can I see the child, wobbly kneed and struggling to keep going, but loved and cherished by God in an unbelievably gracious way? Yes! You’re called and empowered to see that child – the beloved of God! Because in Christ you are that child! 

May this month of the Reformation be for you a journey of rediscovering who you are in God’s eyes as God looks at you as the brother or sister of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. 

And the peace of this grace be with you all. Amen 

Felix Meylahn 

Lenten Dovotion for the Week of Sunday Oculi

I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life

John 14, 6

Taizé chant: Stay with me
Stay with me, remain here with me, watching and praying, watching and praying.
Bleibet hier und wachet mit mir, wachet und betet, wachet und betet.

Text: John 14, 5+6
5 Thomas said to Jesus, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Taizé chant: Stay with us O Lord Jesus Christ
Stay with us O Lord Jesus Christ, night will soon fall. Then stay with us O Lord Jesus Christ, light in our darkness.
Bleib mit deiner Gnade bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ. Ach, bleib mit deiner Gnade bei uns, Du treuer Gott.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the World – You are the Way that God comes to us, You are the Truth that reaffirms God’s love for us, and You are the Life that God graciously gives to us. Let us live in this Way, this Truth and this Life, so that others may recognise your love for them in and through us. To you be glory forever and ever. Amen

Blessing
The peace of the Lord be with you all. Amen