Uwe Liebold, Deacon, Königswalde
We as human beings need stories. Not the kind of stories explaining the world to us in order to make us understand everything completely from the bottom to the top and from every single angle. Such stories do not exist anyways.
We need stories, in which we can place our own lifes. To those stories we can relate and say: Yes, I do understand. I was in such a situation as well, and most of all: it gives me courage and it gives me hope as well as strengths. Even, if I cannot comprehend, understand and classify everything.
The bible tells a whole lot of such stories. And often, those stories tell us about people experiencing things which go beyond our understanding.
And it happend to the time … That is the beginning of the story we hear each year for Christmas. Many know it from church services at Christmas eve, and other know it through the voice of Heinz Rühmann, who can be heard each year on TV.
And it happened … An event, taken away from human´s hands. It was happening, to a young woman, who does not know from a man, she is engaged and pregnant. It was happening to a man, who holds on to this young woman, a virgin, against all his inner doubts to his „yes“ towards the Virgin Mary. It was happening to this very couple to have to walk over hundret kilometers from city to city, due to the will of the ones in power. And it was happening to a child, a refugee child born in a stable. A child worshipped by shepherds and three Wise Men. A child, in front of whom humans from different origins kneel down, a child worshipped as a king, but then, still is fleeing. Just born and already it is seeked to be killed.
This little King of Bethlehem questions the ones in power and therefore is seen as dangerous and has to die.
Why is God doing something like that? That is how we could phrase the question, as we know it so differently from the world we live in. The ones coming along dressed in power and glory are the ones who we ususally believe to have the potential to change the world. But a little king, who is only a refugee child?
Why is God doing it that way? We all know the story. In the end, the lillte king is betrayed as so many other people. Does God have to do it that way?
Eventually a counterquestion can help. Is it possible to force love into place? Is the glory powerful person who comes along on his splendid horse, immediately a beloved one? Or do we fear such a person more than we love him?
A little chiild in the arms is like a promise. And each loving heart dreams for their child a future despite all cruel realities. A little child is hope.
Mary sings from that very hope. As the angel came to her with the known message, she began to sing a song which is about the present of a future for the poor and sufferring, a song which is telling about the rich and powerful being pushed of the throne, and how God will create and bring justice.
Everything, eyerything which serves and leads to peace and justice, Mary is singing in her song about. She sings that God will heal the world.
And she carries the child below her heart, the little king of our hopes, of our salvation – yes indeed.
We, human beings, need stories, in which we can place out hopes and longings. And eventually this story is particularly appropriate for it.
God encounters us in love. He comes dressed up as the little king. In fact, he is the little king, who places himself into our hand – hoping for our love. The little king hoping to find a home with us, getting a place in our life, waking up with us and start growing in our lifes.
Love cannot be forced. Love can only show itself it can promote, it can solicit, it can give itself away, it can yearn for, it can sacrifice – whatever we want to call it. And, love is waiting for an answer.
Eventually that story is so important for us because deep in our hearts we expect to find an answer to our serching and yearning – through that stor.
And I believe, it can be the answer. Christmas can imply that the little king is moving into the hearts of the humans. It can mean to walk along pregnant with the little king and to give him life in ones own life.
We do not need to be in fear to overload the little king with our hopes and yearnings. He is not only the little king but also the Lord of the world.
As an old song says:
He expresses himself in all its presence,
he becomes small and poor,
and he adopts the character of a servant,
the Creator of all things.
Christmas can mean to sing together with Mary – despite the sad realities on earth – the song of hope and future, which is about children all over the world playing in peace, which is about having plenty of bread and good wine, and not having one single weapon.anymore.