Jesus Christ says: Whoever comes to me I will never drive away. Gospel of John, 6, 37 b
I am writing these lines to you in mid-December 2021. The Corona pandemic is massively restricting the freedom for many people. For example, I am only allowed to travel on the streetcar or subway if I have been vaccinated, have recovered or have tested negative. This so-called 3G rule also applies to long-distance travel. Anyone who violates this 3G rule must leave the train at the next stop in the event of control and a fine. The pandemic has caused limits to our freedom of movement that we didn't realize before.
But there are also other limits. For example insurmountable borders. Borders that are secured with walls and barbed wire. Borders that political systems have created and that are often secured with brutal force. One such border was the Berlin Wall. I still remember when this wall was built in 1961. A few years later, as a teenager in West Berlin, I stood in front of this wall of terror. But I was also able to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. I cried with joy! And soon after that I got into my car to drive to Leipzig, crossing the former border. Unforgettable memories.
What limits will I come up against in this new year 2022? Who will set limits for me? Corona? My age will certainly set limits for me. Illnesses will also set limits for me. Fellow human beings will set limits for me. How comforting is the word of Jesus in contrast: "Whoever comes to me, I will not reject." Boundless love awaits me. Jesus stands there with outstretched arms and says: You are welcome! You can always come to me! I will not turn you away. My door is open. No matter how young or old you are. No matter how healthy or sick you are. No matter where and how you live.
To come to Jesus Christ, we do not have to cross borders. Or do we? Maybe there are borders in the mind, barbed wire in the heart? I know fellow human beings who seem to have a wall in their heart. This wall of the heart not only prevents them from going to Jesus Christ and following His invitation. Barbed wire in the heart also prevents them from meeting the person next to me with appreciation and compassion. How often these thoughts are coming: “I don't allow closeness. I don't want to listen to the other person or engage in conversation with him. I reject him. I turn my back on him“.
Jesus Christ invites every person to come to him. He has an open heart for us! Jesus Christ is only a prayer away. But could this be an insurmountable barrier as well? A few days ago, a Christian woman told me: many people don't even know how to pray! They would like to, but they are unsure how to do it. I had not even thought about that. That would be bad if you want to talk to Jesus Christ and have to remain silent. Therefore, in the New Year, I always want to end my thoughts with a prayer. Perhaps it will be of help to you:
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for your invitation. I may now come to you in prayer. You do not send me away, and I know you will listen to me. I may come to you with any problem that is bothering me. I may tell you all the worries that burden me. You hear me and do not send me back into my misery. I may also tell you what I am happy about. I may tell you what I am thankful for today. I thank you that you love me without limits. What is on my heart, I tell you now, in private: ..... Amen.