4. Advent and Christmas
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our1 joy may be complete.
1 John 1, 1 – 4
everything has a beginning. We celebrate our birthday, the beginning of our life. Couples celebrate their wedding day, the beginning of their life together. We Germans celebrate the reunification of East and West Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall. We will remember to what had a good start.
Everything has a beginning. Also, the faith in Jesus Christ. Christmas reminds us: there has been a good start. God started with us. God became a man. He was born as a child, like all other children. He lived with the people. He was one of us.
Jesus Christ is the good and fulfilling life that came and remains in a desolate and gloomy world. He, the Messiah, could be touched. He was not a dumb idol who could not open his mouth. On the contrary. His words were and are weighty, very important. They changed human hearts. The Messiah did not live in secluded religious spheres. He sat down with people around whom many drew a bow. He healed, who were mentally and physically exhausted. He set signs! For many, life started new.
Jesus Christ could look at anyone and everyone who met him. He let himself be touched. He could be addressed.
Even today we can talk to him. He hears our praying. And we can listen to him. HIS word is God's word. We can read it in cold print. In the Lord's Supper, in bread and wine, we are invited to his table.
The German Cardinal Lehmann (1936 - 2018) said: "The Bible is explosive for our lifes: for ourselves, for common sense, for our human relationships, for our society and our future tasks. It only requires attentive, willing, passionate readers."
Through Jesus Christ we Christians are connected. Worldwide. Protestants and Catholics, Orthodox and Free Christian communities, Baptists and Lutherans. We all are celebrating Christmas because that is the beginning of our common faith. For me a reason to enjoy, too.
I wish you a Merry Christmas full of joy about this beginning that God made with us. I wish you a fellowship with Jesus Christ, the beginner and finisher of our faith. I wish you to continue the journey in the coming year you began with Jesus. This way of joy and peace.
The annual watchword 2019 is a word of Psalm 34:15: "Seek peace and chase after him." I invite you to start together. From January, "peace" should be my main topic. I would be glad if you will visit me again.
God bless you!
Hans Peter Nann