Would you adopt Hitler's dog

The word for everyday life

The earth doesn't need us

The earth doesn't need us

Cornelia Götz, Cathedral Preacher - May 21, 2021

“Oh, Lord, let your ears pay attention that you hear the prayer”, that's how Nehemiah wrote about this day. "Oh, sir, let your eyes be careful that you see these pictures" I add, because in the Süddeutsche Zeitung today the portrait of a beautiful young woman jumps at you who is at least from another world, if not from another Time seems to come.
The Brazilian photographer and winner of the Peace Prize of the German book trade Sebastiano Saldago took the picture. Next to it it says: “The earth doesn't need us”. I've heard that before this year. At a conference on the theological classification of the Corona crisis, the EKD's Sustainability Officer, following the creation theologian Jürgen Moltmann, said: “We need the earth. But the earth doesn't need us. ”And what was meant was the hint to no longer exalt ourselves as guardians and keepers of creation, but to understand ourselves as fellow creatures.
"The earth doesn't need us" - that sounds a bit like being chased away. Sebastiano Saldago must have felt something like this, because in the course of his life he plunged himself deep into misery.
In 1994 he had documented the genocide in Rwanda for months. "Looking away is silent approval," said the photographer later. But watching made him life-threateningly ill. When he could no longer sleep with his wife because his penis was getting blood instead of semen, he went to the doctor. "Your soul lets your body die," he said. "You have to stop!"
So he left his art behind and went home to his parents' farm to find that the earth was just as sick and tired as he was. He hoped that if he would plow this piece of land in peace, peace would come into his own Soul back. This effort did not turn into a farm but into a rainforest again.
"The earth doesn't need us" is for Sebastiano Saldago the realization of a healing process. The Brazilian believes that it will recover from us humans just as the dead earth of his field recovered. Flowers are back, 300 different kinds of trees and 173 kinds of birds.
For years he withdrew into the deepest solitude of nature in order to photograph landscapes and animals in complete seclusion.
So he got well again. “Genesis” was the name of the next project. Creation. God all in all. He will not let us be put to shame, because: "Oh, Lord, let your ears pay attention that you hear the prayer".

Download as a PDF file

SAID in memory

SAID in memory

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - May 20, 2021

Said Mirhadi died last weekend.
The poet was born in Tehran in 1947. At the age of seventeen he came to Munich to study. After the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, he went back to Iran. But he couldn't stay there.
We owe this fate to an artist who wrote poetry and prose in German and mastered them as well as if he had always been at home with them.
"In our arid exile / nobody wanted my Persian poems. / ... I took refuge / to the German language; / who welcomed me / as hospitably as they could." He wrote.
His correspondence with the much younger Syrian poet Yamen Hussein appeared in 2017. The two exiles lived in the same German city. But they didn't know each other. In their letters they write of flight and homesickness, of arriving, of language and being here among us, of Tehran and Homs, of love and poetry, of violence.
SAID opened the conversation with the following poem:
“The door was open
he didn't have to scratch it.
He came in
sat down at the table,
on the free chair,
ate and drank, smoked and listened.
then he went
and closed the door. "
"Der gast" is the name of the short text and is reminiscent of Reinhard Mey, who sang:
"Good night friends / It's time for me to go / What else I would have to say / Lasts a cigarette / And one last glass while standing
Thank you for the day, for the night under your roof / For the space at your table, for every glass that I drank / For the plate that you put next to yours / As if nothing was more natural in the world "
But it wasn't that natural.
Not for Said and not for Yamen Hussein. Not for the many who die on the way to Europe or who are finally turned away when they arrive.
"Where I die is my stranger," he said.
May it be a stranger in peace.





Download as a PDF file

Hold the door open ?!

Hold the door open ?!

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - May 19, 2021

One of the inexhaustibly good books for my everyday professional life is a “Year Companion” by Dorothee Sölle called “Passion for Life”. There are a few words for every day of the year. It is an abundance of wise, sometimes highly political, then again very tender thoughts and quotes and always a valuable treasure trove.
I always like to rummage through it and read:
"He no longer knew what a toothbrush is good for / how to put on a shoe / he didn't always know even his name / but it would never have occurred to him / in front of me a friend says / to go out the door / he stopped her ..."
I have probably skimmed through this little text many times.
But now he's jumping at me. Not only because going out and being able to hold the door open for someone was so taboo for so many old people. They were in protective custody. Only now, with spring, does the sigh of relief begin again and finally we see each other - after a long time - and often outside the door.
But there is something completely different in the few lines:
Dorothee Sölle tells of a deeply impressed gesture of polite attention. Today it is no longer a matter of course that men hold the door for women. Some no longer know about it, others no longer want it, and others do not know whether it is still wanted.
This leaves the door and everyone has to open it themselves.
I already understand that the caring can be understood as paternalism, as a power gradient. It is right not to reduce women to being the weaker sex ...
But cleaning up the old rules of behavior between the sexes in this way often also makes our lives poorer and emptier.
Because actually it is nice when we treat each other carefully, tenderly and attentively. And if that's all that's left in the end, it's actually a good sign, isn't it?

Download as a PDF file

Lots of colorful birds

Lots of colorful birds

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - May 17, 2021

For two weeks now I have had a lot of time to take longer daytime walks through the Feldmark and the Rieselfelder north of Braunschweig. What particularly inspires me there is the variety of bird species that can be seen there and that have nested in the truest sense of the word on the shallow pond areas. I am not an expert, but I can say that there is a whole bunch of colorful birds to be seen there, from storks, swans, various types of ducks and geese to pheasants and blackbirds, thrushes, finches and starlings.
The comparison is a bit bumpy, but we humans are also such a collection of different colorful birds. There are 7.6 billion of us in this world and I am pretty sure that there are no two who are completely alike in their lives, their thoughts and actions and their looks. 7.6 billion colorful birds and each one unique and wonderful.
We could all be happy about this diversity and see it as an enrichment and an opportunity. Many, and I would like to say that most people see it that way too. But there are also other points of view. Those who are fearful, dismissive or even hostile towards everyone who is different from the majority in whatever form. The criteria by which this negative demarcation, discrimination, is attached are very different and we are all familiar with them. It's about origin, skin color, religion, social status, wealth or even sexual orientation.
Today is the International Day against Homophobia, Biophobia, Interphobia and Transphobia, a rather awkward name for a regrettably but still necessary warning. In many countries around the world, sexual orientation deviating from the majority is a criminal offense, and non-heterosexual people are even threatened with death. And even in countries where there are no longer any legal restrictions, people have to reckon with a lack of acceptance and exclusion because of their sexual identity - even here in Germany we haven't left that completely behind us.
Each and every one of us has the opportunity to shape a lot in our own life. We can decide what we do in our free time, how we treat our fellow human beings, what we are committed to and what we don't care about. But some of the other things are a gift from God that is beyond our control. This includes the day and place of our birth, our shoe size, our talents, our skin color and also our sexual orientation. And the latter is also about the greatest gift from God: love. Trying to upgrade or devalue people because of such attributes is pretty stupid to say the least, and certainly not what God expects of us.
We are all God's children, we belong to the Holy Family, to the flock of his brightly colored birds. We are children of light, as Paul says, completely detached from hetero, homo, bi, trans or whatever. God doesn't care and his love doesn't know this distinction. We humans should orient ourselves to this - in his honor and in Jesus' name. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

The sea is no more

The sea is no more

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - 15.05.2021

"Heaven, earth, air and sea ..." testify to the Creator's honor, this is what this midday prayer sounds like. The fifth stanza of the song says: "See the water waves run, / how they rise and rise, / from the source to the sea / they rustle the honor of the creator."
It easily crosses the lips and reinforces the longing for the sea, its infinity and the many nuances in which we can encounter it. So it should have been a very light May and sea-green midday prayer, but then yesterday at noon the current issue of the Action Atonement came in the mail. While leafing through I came across a devotion to the last chapter of the Revelation of John:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth have passed and the sea is no more."
The sea is no more.
Anyone who dreams of associating healing and beneficial time with the sea, relaxing in the water, swimming with pleasure or walking for hours on the beach, who writes like this, does not need a sea in life.
"How oppressive and deadly must the sea be for its nonexistence to become a vision, an exhilarating prospect."
That's how I read. And also that the seer John, as the Greek Orthodox Church teaches, lived on the island of Patmos. Sea everywhere, as far as the eye can see.
That shouldn't be a place of longing?
Biblical authors never romanticize in this regard. On the contrary: the sea is a place of death for them. And for countless poor, wretched people too. Tens of thousands have drowned in the Mediterranean in the last twenty years and well over 100,000 have been rescued from distress.
Does that only stop when the sea is no more?
"If we, as Christians, want to live from John's vision, if we continue to believe that God is greater than the deadly sea, then we must do our part to prove this truth," writes the colleague.
The old song ends with the words:
“Oh my God, how wonderfully you present yourself to creation! Always express in my mind what you are and what I am. “Yes, please express that in my mind!


Download as a PDF file

Still...

Still...

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - 14.05.2021

A few years ago, David Großmann's novel: “A woman flees from a message” was published. He tells the story of an Israeli mother whose son is in the military. In her unspeakable fear that her child could lose his life, she leaves her home. If the news of death cannot reach her, her child will not die, so the desperate hope.
It is a terribly sad book that tells of suffering on all sides. While David Grossmann was working on it, his son Uri fell. On August 12, 2006. Grossmann was then as old as I am now ...
10 years later, Basman Derawi from Gaza posted:
"At night a painful absence wakes me up ...
I hear you were a lovely man ... I touch your photo / wipe away a tear with my shirt lap / so that your picture remains intact.
I look in the mirror / and see traces of you: / the same little dark eyes, / the round face, the broad smile ...
It burns because I never knew the smell / your warm hand / because I never called you papa. "
Who knows what texts are being written these days, tonight, in Israel, Gaza and the Palestinian Territories - while a new war breaks out.
There must be attacks in every family, victims of war and violence.
The whole country must be full of orphaned parents and grandparents, widows, widowers and orphans. There must be a lack of brothers, sisters and loved ones everywhere.
It is unbelievable that you can still find people who are ready to launch rockets in their own country ...
That you can still find people who believe that military force paves the way, creates justice, atone for injustice.
From here it is particularly difficult for them to ask such questions.
It is one of the consequences of the Holocaust that the conflicts in the Middle East have intensified. And also: It wasn't that long ago that Germans shot at Germans.
All the more we should - here too - struggle to ensure that our speeches and actions remain non-violent and that agitation and hatred do not find ears.
And pray for peace. Again and again.



Download as a PDF file

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Cornelia Götz, Cathedral Preacher - May 12, 2021

In Israel sirens wail and rockets fly, feared by some and cheered by others. Once again, the Holy Land is the site of military conflicts. The Temple Mount is sacred to so many people. But that doesn't protect him and her from violence and bloodshed. Belief in one God does not bring about peace.
Tolerance between religions is often nothing more than what the word originally said: mutual endurance and endurance. It's a long way from there to real togetherness and we all still have a long way to go. Jews, Muslims and Christians profess the one God and know about their religious-historical connection.
It would be obvious to live such closeness and so give glory to the one God, but it is evidently a human truth that fraternal competition is sometimes unfounded with great severity. The closer one lives to one another, the more so.
Here in Braunschweig we don't know how narrow it is. Still, we should be wary of self-praise.
There is good reason why the city of Braunschweig had the Christianity column by the artist Jürgen Weber erected behind the cathedral (or in front of it - depending on the case). Confirmation of a long, not always healing and peaceful history.
On top of it there are the three rings, symbols of Lessing's ring parable from Nathan the Wise: a precious opal, which has the property of making people pleasant before God and man, wandered in a family from father to dearest son, until he found a father who did not want to make the decision because he loved his sons equally. So he secretly had copies made. Later it was no longer possible to tell which ring was the real one. That should have been proven by its effect. That is why a wise judge ruled:
"Well! Let everyone emulate his unbribed love, free of prejudice! "
And if that were so, then Jerusalem would finally be the city that everyone longs for.

Download as a PDF file

Loans

Loans

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - May 11, 2021

It was even worth reporting on the news: Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are getting a divorce. My goodness, I think, it's really not that extraordinary. In Germany alone, around 150,000 marriages are divorced every year, that's a good 400 every day. And now someone in the US is getting a divorce and the press, radio and television are full of it. Yes, of course Bill Gates is an internationally known personality and is therefore also in the public eye with his life.
But I think that it is not only and not primarily the level of awareness that brought the Gates divorce into the headlines, but rather the amount of money that is at stake.Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world and apparently there seems to be a great deal of interest in the question of what consequences this divorce will have for his fortune and that of his wife.

Quite remarkable, in my opinion. Hardly anything can be read about the fact that such a separation certainly also has to do with pain and suffering and grief, that a common path in life ends and two people have to completely reorganize themselves because a dimension that has been reliable for decades has broken down in their lives , but probably over 120 billion dollars, which now has to be distributed somehow.
Our thinking, our decisions, our actions, and indeed this world as a whole, are largely determined by material influences. Whoever pays for the music can also determine what is played. This connection between money and power cannot be denied and it is up to us humans to ensure that there is social balance between rich and poor in our country, but also between countries in the world as a whole.

But this focus on material things shouldn't hide one thing above all: We don't get any further with really existential questions with money and power. Just as the billion-dollar fortune of the Gates couple could not save their relationship, so little can we buy happiness, health or love. And at the end of our earthly journey we cannot take anything with us, because everything that is available to us here is at best borrowed - we cannot keep any of it forever.
About this day it says from Deuteronomy: “Behold, the heavens and all the heavens, the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, that is the Lord your God.” This knowledge grounds, for it makes us clear , from whom everything comes and to whom everything goes. And it also relieves, I think, because we are told that we can put everything, good and bad, back in God's hands. Because both are in good hands there. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

truth

truth

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - May 10, 2021

Can you still remember that Lower Saxony once had government presidents? One of them had his office just around the corner. They only existed for a few years, from 1978 to 2004, and hardly anyone remembers the names of the incumbents unless you knew one of them personally. 2000 years ago, the Roman Empire had comparable administrative structures, with the Roman government presidents having far greater powers and also being called governors. The most famous of them was undeniably Pontius Pilate.
We remember him in every service when we speak our creed: “suffered under Pontius Pilate”. He is interrogating Jesus Christ and the Bible reports it in great detail. During this interrogation, Pilate asks a remarkable question: “What is truth?” A really big question, and I think it is very topical even in our times.
There are more and more ways to get information. A few decades ago it was essentially the newspaper, public service broadcasting and books, today in the digital age we are faced with unmanageable floods of information on the Internet that can hardly be processed. This is accompanied by the problem that this diversity also gives information providers the opportunity to deliberately disseminate false information. Fake news is now part of our everyday life and certain circles use it very deliberately for their own goals. The former American president is a prime example of the fact that national intelligence agencies infiltrated the internet with fake news to influence elections is another. And so a totalitarian system does not even allow the free exchange of information over the Internet.
In our country, too, attempts have been made to control information and opinion very consciously. 88 years ago today, on May 10, 1933, books were burned in Germany, primarily by Jewish, social democratic, Marxist and pacifist authors whose attitude the Nazis did not like. Here in Braunschweig, too, the pyre burned in front of the castle and in front of the TU.
The goal of the Nazis and the goal of every totalitarian regime and totalitarian-minded people is to reduce reality to its very own truth. In order to counteract this, free journalism is essential, among other things. However, in Germany too, the pressure on journalists has increased considerably in recent years. The obstruction of their work is now commonplace, especially by those who think that they have leased the truth for themselves. Here it is important to be vigilant and to take a clear position, also as a church.
About today it says: “In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” May God give us that these treasures may open up to us and we can orient our lives accordingly - with his help and in Jesus' name. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Sophie Scholl

Sophie Scholl

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - May 8th, 2021

Today it is 71 years since the end of the war.
Tomorrow is the 100th birthday of Sophie Scholl, who has not seen it herself.
Her death is one of the millions of early violent break-offs of life stories in the 20th century.
Her bust stands in the Walhalla between poets, painters, composers, architects, crowned and elected heads, and so it became official in Bavaria that she is an important person with a "devious tongue".
She probably wouldn't have said that about herself. Much more:
"In my cockiness or my stupidity, I made the mistake of throwing 80-100 leaflets from the second floor of the university into the atrium, which was how my brother and I were discovered."
This is how she describes the moment on February 18, 1943 during the interrogation that will cost her, her brother Hans and their mutual friend Christoph Probst their lives four days later.
On the weekend in between, as Barbara Beuys tells in her biography, her parents and siblings were together in Scholl's parents' house in Ulm. Werner Scholl is said to have asked his mother Lina to read something from the Bible.
She chooses a passage from the 2nd Maccabees break. There it is told that Antiochus IV wanted to force a woman and her seven sons to eat pork. One after the other refuse and pay for it with their life. When it is also the youngest’s turn, his mother is supposed to persuade him and she says:
"I do not know how you came into being in my bosom, and the breath and life I have not given you, nor have I put together what each of you consists of. That is why he who created the world and made all men and becoming of all things, has graciously given you back your breath and life, because now, for the sake of his laws, you have no regard for yourself. "
Later a call comes in informing that the trial of Hans and Sophie Scholl will take place on Monday, February 22nd, 1943 in the Munich Justice Palace.

Download as a PDF file

I want to meet you cautiously

I want to meet you cautiously

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - May 7th, 2021

I learned one of the songs that I miss to sing in a small South Tyrolean mountain band: “I want to meet you carefully, show you that you are not alone. The angel of God will bless us, the light will be by our side. I want to touch you with gentleness ... "
We were at the three-week confirmation seminar - I was there for the first time, as a vicar. One of the deep impressions of that time was seeing how the girls and boys changed over the three weeks. As a mother, I later experienced this in my own children and sometimes heard with painful wistfulness from parents that they had put children on the train and picked up young adults. It was often like that. Children who were afraid of homesickness didn't want to go back. Girls who got on the train in sweatpants and hoodies and hid in their wide outfits came home as suntanned young women in tops and shorts, right and left a boy who did not know before the trip that he could flirt.
But not only that. Three weeks behind and in the mountains, always surrounded by nature that makes you breathless and in between busy with the big questions: who am I actually and what does God want me to do, how do I want to live and what traces in life left behind by others, do not pass you by without a trace - especially not if the familiar role as a class clown or baby boy cannot be played.
We often experienced an enchanting journey of discovery to themselves in young people. It was important to be careful and loving on the one hand - and as honest as possible on the other. Getting to know yourself is like drawing a map - with wide meadows and impenetrable forests, swamps, mountains, clear lakes, morass, stones, flowers. Not well signposted or with safety devices everywhere along the way. Such a map, which we drew together, always included a date and the knowledge that where I would get lost today, there might be a clear path tomorrow and vice versa: some snowfields cover crevasses and are by no means as safe as expected .
I remembered all of that this morning when I read the report of a young woman who was born a girl to a man and then walked the arduous way back to herself. Today she is accompanied by the question of whether it is really a good thing when boys and girls at the age of 14 can decide on their gender independently of their parents.
Boys and girls need hearing and cautiousness, I think, and the freedom to explore their own map without being driven or determined by adults. And they take time. Together. Now.

Download as a PDF file

All eyes are waiting for you

All eyes are waiting for you

Cornelia Götz, Cathedral Preacher - May 6th, 2021

In today's daily motto it says from the 145th Psalm:
"All eyes are waiting for you ..."
Oh yeah. We are waiting. Not only on the immediate, rapid improvement of all circumstances, but above all on the fact that healing can finally begin where we cannot see or hear it at the moment. Often it is precisely the wounds that heal the worst, that are hit where no one looks and no one talks about it, where people try to cope with their misery on their own.
In any case, I am urgently waiting that children can come together again happily and carefree, that young people can swim, dance, kiss, that the world becomes so wide again that the narrowness and darkness disappear from the soul. I am waiting for it to sound like the fairy tale of the Iron Heinrich, when the ribbon jumps from the heart because it is now healed.
The daily motto goes on to say, as we sang it before meals in another life:
“All eyes are waiting for you, Lord, and you will give them their food at the right time. You open your hand and saturate everything that lives there with pleasure. "
Eat at the right time ...
More than usual it sounds to my ears like: And you give them their food on time. Before it's too late. Food, not only for the body but also for the soul, comes.
But the last word makes me a little perplexed: well pleased.
It's about healing and being whole, about love and joy, about peace in heart and soul, in our society and our world.
But please. Should we be fed up with it?
The basic Bible translates differently: “You open your soothing hand and everything that lives will be full.” And heard and read this way, it may then say: God likes it, he takes pleasure in filling us with everything that we for Need life.
May he also give us confidence and confidence that all his benefits will reach those emaciated in time.

Download as a PDF file

Am i beautiful

Am i beautiful

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - 05.05.2021

Zooming is exhausting, not only because we have to concentrate and, above all, discipline, but - as I read very plausibly - because we see ourselves all the time and always have to look at it with equal effort, annoyance or expressly disinterestedly we ourselves “come across”. For many people, this leads to a new view of themselves, which is by far more ruthless and critical than the other.
Keeping control over your own appearance when you don't even have to leave the house is not that easy. This reinforces a topic that has blossomed absurdly even without Corona:
Am i beautiful And what does that even mean: being beautiful?
There is no real definition of beauty. What makes perception pleasant is beautiful. As a result, there is a wide field between natural beauty and beauty that can be created. Because people long to be surrounded by beauty or to be beautiful themselves, a market has arisen here. Money is made with beautiful places and beautiful things, and not least in the beauty industry and surgery. At the forefront is South Korea, a place of pilgrimage for beauty seekers. There are over 500 clinics there in Seoul alone. It is quite normal, a good investment in the future, when parents give their daughters the widening of the almond eyes by doubling the crease or straightening the nose when they graduate from school. Analogous to the driver's license that would be available elsewhere. Because it's not about joy but about success, about qualification for a good job.
Behind this is a standardized concept of beauty that seems to require a certain face - and perhaps a changed viewing habit. I have read that it is about a common, flawless identity.
Beauty in particular is something that cannot be standardized at all.
The Korean photographer Kim Geum-hee says that she initially talks for a long time with people who would like to be portrayed by her. She asks what people love and like and waits for her face to loosen up in the telling about the beautiful things in life and relax, become clear and bright. After she herself has experienced three consultations in beauty clinics and has taken note of her alleged need for correction , she says: “I don't want that kind of beauty.” Seen in this light, beauty is not a form, not an ideal measure, but an inner light.
Finally, if heaven and earth tell of the honor and glory of God, why not our faces, so different, too?

Download as a PDF file

On road

On road

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - May 3rd, 2021

After it rained last week, you can literally watch the trees turn green. Have you used the opportunity to go on a hike through the spring-like surroundings? I think that you can clear your head, take new and beautiful impressions with you and think a little bigger: For me, a hike always has a lot in common with our life as a whole.
Just like our hiking trails that we walk, we are also on our way through life. Each and every one of us has his or her very own individual. And just like the hiking trails in the Elm or in the Harz Mountains, our life paths also bring us to junctions and crossings where we have to decide where we want to continue, right or left or straight ahead.
Our paths lead us to rest areas where we can stay. Our parents' house, our school, our work place are rest areas where we can spend time and meet companions who accompany us and whom we accompany - a short distance or a very long stage. We share experiences with them, master challenges and make friends. Paths part again, there are goodbyes, we make new acquaintances and the longer we are on the road, the more we learn, the more trained we are on the road.
Our walks in nature can have very different goals. Our hikes on our life paths, however different they may be, all have the same goal. But how we understand this goal is very different.
Someone once told me that every life is heading for the greatest catastrophe imaginable: death. For people who see it that way, our lives end in nothing, in a black hole, at an ultimate zero point. I shudder at such an idea and I understand that people panic, panic at the end of the gate and do everything to squeeze as much out of this life as possible, rushed and fearful to miss something.
For us Christians, thank God it is different. Our ways lead us home, we are on our way home. We have Easter behind us, the festival that gives us the courage and hope for this view of things. We are allowed to know that at the end of our earthly wandering things will continue, that something great will be waiting for us when we get home.Because God has pushed open a door for us in Jesus Christ, which enables us a perspective that points far beyond everything that we can grasp with our human reason.
And even if we have the impression on some stretches of our life that there is currently no companion for us, we always have one at our side: our friend and brother Jesus Christ. For, see, I am with you every day until the end of the world, he promises us. We can rely on that - on smooth asphalt as well as on bumpy dirt roads and in deep potholes. This is a good way to be on the move, in life as well as in the spring-like Braunschweiger Land. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

... and peace has no end in his kingdom

... and peace has no end in his kingdom

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 30, 2021

It was Christmas around 130 days ago. Do you still remember pictures of this special festival in 2020? Much was different from what we are used to, also different from what we have come to love. There was no Christmas market, many services were canceled, others, like here at the cathedral, could only be celebrated with a few people and a large distance from one another and there was also no vigorously sung "O, you happy".
But again, despite everything, there were also familiar things, such as the Christmas biblical readings. And an excerpt from the following is the daily motto for today: “For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us, and rulership rests on his shoulder; and he is called Miracle Council, God-Hero, Eternal Father, Peace Prince; that his reign may be great and that peace may not end on the throne of David and in his kingdom. "
We hear this text anew every year and we understand that Isaiah has here divinely announced the coming of Jesus Christ. That part of his prophecy came true, but what about the rest? What about “the peace has no end in its kingdom”? Did we miss anything?
A look at the daily newspaper or a news program on television would lead us to the conclusion that Isaiah was probably wrong with his prophecy. Because if we are miles away from something in this world, then surely from peace without end, or how do you see it? I recently saw figures on how much money the individual countries of the world spend on armaments and even as a banker it is difficult for me to grasp these amounts. Endless peace works differently.
But I think that we are making it too easy for ourselves if we always wait for God to solve all problems for us, especially those for which we are responsible. How a life in peace and love goes to one another is an impressive example of God in his Son. That's why he sent him into this world, which we celebrate every year at Christmas. But to fill this example with life in the here and now, that is and will remain our job.
And yes, you would like to grab the people who are responsible for armaments spending by the sleeper, bring them all to one table and tell them: Look at Jesus Christ. He showed you how to do it. Now finally make an effort and make something of it!
Sounds naive and unworldly, I know. But it is precisely the topic that peace is so foreign to the world. And on a very personal level: I don't want to be deprived of this naive hope and belief that one day we humans will succeed in living peacefully and lovingly with one another. Because once that hope has died, so is the chance for endless peace. I think that God wants us to keep trying, for his glory and in the name of the child that is born to us. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

humility

humility

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 29, 2021

Nobody is superfluous. He can still serve as a bad example. Of course, this saying is not meant very seriously. But it points to a certain human weakness, namely that of learning from the mistakes others have already made. We only succeed to a limited extent and often enough we get a bloody nose again because we somehow didn't take those of our fellow human beings that seriously and prefer to run in front of the walls ourselves, which others have already run in front of us.
It seems to be more promising if we are not supposed to focus on the mistakes of others, but on their strengths. People develop great motivation and energy when they emulate an idol. Such an idol can be a successful athlete, a good singer, a bestselling author, a work colleague or a friend who is good at something we would like to be able to do as well. Our parents can be our role models, just like our teachers, or, or, or.
What distinguishes such human positive examples from the negative examples is that the former are often distinguished in a special way. They are awarded Oscars and Grammys, national and international cultural prizes, gold, silver and bronze medals, trophies and various other badges of honor. The Federal Cross of Merit should also be mentioned in this context as an award for people who have made a special contribution to the common good.
Cardinal Marx was also to receive the Federal Cross of Merit for his exemplary commitment to refugees. In recent years, Marx has repeatedly and very clearly campaigned for justice and solidarity in our society towards the refugees who have arrived here.
When it became known that he was to be awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, there was clear criticism. This was particularly determined by the fact that Marx was also responsible for coming to terms with the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and that this entire complex of issues was still far from being satisfactorily concluded.
Cardinal Marx then asked Federal President Steinmeier to refrain from receiving the award, also in order not to injure victims of abuse even more. I think this step is worth all honors. It is not an admission of guilt, but a clear sign of appropriate and humble sensitivity.
If someone is willing to forego personal praise in humility and modesty, then that is a thoroughly Christian expression of life. Because Jesus Christ says of himself: “I am meek and humble with all my heart.” Even as the Son of God, humility was no stranger to him. Humility as a bow of one's own ego to something bigger - it can be a good guide on our paths through life and not only when it comes to the Federal Cross of Merit. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

WORKER’S MEMORIAL DAY

WORKER’S MEMORIAL DAY

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 28, 2021

Today is Worker’s Memorial Day, the day of remembrance for wage workers who have been injured, ill or even lost their lives as a result of their work. Memorial Day was established in Canada in the 1980s and adopted by the International Trade Union Confederation worldwide in 1996.
In Germany alone, around a million work accidents occur every year, several hundred of which are fatal. With over 40 million people in employment in our country, this is a rather low rate in an international comparison. But as always when it comes to statistics, one must not forget that behind every single number there is an individual fate, a valuable human life that is impaired or even destroyed by an accident.
The fact that the numbers in our country are still comparatively low is certainly also due to the safety regulations that apply in this country, which protect and preserve people's life and health. Here and there criticism is loud again and again that some things are overregulated and therefore cumbersome and bureaucratic and that prices rise and competitiveness suffers. But if this protects human life, these regulations are certainly justified.
In other countries the situation is much worse. There people and their labor are primarily seen and assessed as factors of production and occupational safety only as a cost factor. A very prominent example of this is Qatar.
The soccer world championship is to be held there in the coming year. According to unofficial information, more than 6,500 guest workers have died since the country was awarded the contract. The predominantly young men had worked on various infrastructure projects in connection with the World Cup and the construction of the stadium. As the statistics are patchy, it is believed that the actual death toll is likely to be even higher.
Qatar is rightly criticized internationally for its poor and apparently life-threatening working conditions. The migrant workers are often brought to Qatar by dubious and non-transparent agencies from abroad and have to pay horrific sums for the placement. But for these people, most of whom come from South Asia or Africa, the only solution is to feed their families.
Qatar itself has so far responded to the criticism with only half-hearted reforms. And FIFA, which is practically the trigger of this misery with its award, is holding back, glossing over the figures and hardly sees itself as responsible. It should be a happy football festival in the coming year. How that can work when the preparation of this festival has paid with their lives for several thousand people is difficult for me to imagine. And the fact that professional footballers have the word “human rights” printed on their jerseys and then go there is certainly not enough.
Jesus Christ says: “What you did to one of these least of my brothers of mine, you did it to me.” One can think about it in this context. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Caught in the trap

Caught in the trap

Henning Böger, Pastor - April 27, 2021

Sometimes it's “bewitched”: no matter where you take a step, some trap always snaps shut! You don't suspect anything bad, and someone else throws you something at your head. How unfair is that? Some days everything seems to conspire against you!
But it also works the other way around: You criticize your colleague extremely thoughtlessly. You are forgetting an important birthday. You hit the wrong note when talking to your wife, parents and children. Loads of traps that can open up in the course of a day!
A proverb says: "Tripping over your bike is like riding a bicycle: You just never forget it!" As hard as we try, we fall into one or the other trap. Whoever accepts this has learned for life.
If I follow the trail of my faux pas a little more fundamentally,
then I can start to think: Why is life so often of this mixed quality that feels as if one is falling into a trap? Why is there nothing that is just good and positive forever?
Anyone who knows life with its pitfalls also knows the wish that this life could change: from old patterns to new behavior. From frustration to pleasure. From the trap to joy.
A sentence that the apostle Paul wrote in the second letter to the Corinthians fits this very well: “If someone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed, see, the new has come. "
I understand Paul as follows: Whoever knows himself to be connected to Christ, who has escaped the cords of death out of God's love, will himself be led on new paths. A really different view of things can open up to him: No matter how many traps there may be in life, in the midst of them there is already another life that has to do with this Christ. He who belongs to him will be transformed.
To look to Christ from everyday life with its pitfalls and faux pas, opens your eyes to this new life. Your own and that of others.
And every trap you fall into becomes a reminder that God's new world has no more traps. No matter where you go: In the end, life stands on good and secure ground.

Download as a PDF file

New will

New will

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 26th, 2021

“I'm actually completely different, but I rarely get around to it.” This sentence comes from Ödön von Horváth and can put a smile on our faces the first time we hear it. But there is a great truth behind these words. Actually, I'm not like that at all, actually he or she isn't like that at all, we often hear that when something has gone wrong on the interpersonal level. In the conversation, a rather thoughtless expression slips out that hurts our counterpart, there is a harsh rejection to a friendly request, something breaks out in an almost uncontrolled way that has been fermenting in us for a long time, and the anger is there.
We don't want it and yet it happens. This applies to all possible areas of life. We always make mistakes everywhere. It is particularly difficult for those who do not want to accept this, neither for themselves nor for others. You are regularly confronted with the harsh reality. We get through life a little easier if we acknowledge our limitations and fallibility and simply accept that we are not perfect.
And yet it is not nice that we keep blaming ourselves, towards our fellow human beings as well as towards God. We regularly owe him something too. That too is inevitable, no matter how hard we try and try.
This week it says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed, see, the new has become. ”We are familiar with the fact that the old passes and becomes new. Spring is a prime example of how something new can be beautiful. But Paul speaks to us, you and you and me. New things can also arise with us and in us when, as the apostle says, we are in Christ.
We have the chance to put all the old crap behind us, our wrongdoings, our misfortunes or, biblically speaking, our sins. “Come to me, all of you who are troublesome and burdened”, says Jesus himself and he means it that way. We are allowed to unload what oppresses us, what is on our minds, what we owe to our fellow human beings and also to God. So he always gives us the opportunity to start over.
This is not a clean bill of health for the fact that we can do whatever comes to mind. We should take responsibility. But we don't have to fear that we will take over, because he promises to forgive us for the mistakes we make.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has passed, behold, the new has come. A relieving promise that you can live with, with serenity and full of confidence and gratitude. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

What's happening?

What's happening?

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 24th, 2021

The magazines for the weekend editions of the big newspapers are currently making a lot of photo series with places of longing because you can only travel in your mind. Presumably many do too. And so we criss-cross Europe, linger at favorite places or make up our minds to really drive off and finally see what it's like when it works again - because our continent is a fantastic piece of earth, full of different cultures, dishes, Languages, traditions, festivals - and linked to one another by a great idea.
The Aachen Charlemagne Prize is dedicated to this. 2016 was awarded to Pope Francis. At that time we were under the impression of the great refugee crisis, caravans of people had set off and also arrived at Munich Central Station. There was great hospitality, but soon the boundaries became more noticeable again. Fear of sharing and changing one's life increased. And foreclosure was seen by some as the means of choice.
Today we are experiencing this among other things: now borders are barely passable, every country is struggling alone with the waves of the pandemic, the social and economic consequences. Encounters and participation are hardly possible. But everyone is somehow affected. The perception of the misery on Europe's borders, of dying on the Mediterranean Sea, the violence in Ireland and the impoverishment of many people who have no share in the immeasurable wealth of the western world are receding into the background.
All the more impressive are the Pope's words, which sound as if they are only a few hours old:
“What is the matter with you, Europe, you defender of human rights, democracy and freedom? What's the matter with you, Europe? ... Right now, in this torn and wounded world of ours, it is necessary to return to solidarity with action, to concrete generosity ... "
What's happening?
We are in a crisis that relentlessly reveals strengths and weaknesses.We are on the move in a time in which you almost forget what it was like to be on the road, in which you miss the ability to create, especially touch and surprising encounters, learning from each other - we are at a loss as to where all this may lead us.
But we are also on the way between Easter and Ascension and always the following sounds: “Do not be afraid” of Easter morning and “Stay in the city until you are impressed with strength from on high”.
So let's not travel too long in our thoughts, but concrete
Looking for ways. For the here and there, the now and then, the people with whom we share the world.

Download as a PDF file

Between Kassandra and Hercules ...

Between Kassandra and Hercules ...

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 23, 2021

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote: “This dark generation cannot be helped; you only have to be silent for the most part so as not to be considered insane, like Kassandra, if you prophesied what is already at the door. "Christa Wolf has put the quote in front of her volume" Kassandra, prerequisites for a story ". The book was published in the GDR in 1983. Kassandra, a figure in Greek mythology, was gifted with clairvoyance and cursed because no one listened to her.
When Christa Wolf brought her to mind and made her startlingly topical, I seriously encountered the ecological question for the first time: It was about the dying forest.
Environmental issues were taboo in the East and rarely discussed in public; That's why I sat, just confirmed between long-haired guys in the young community and listened to creepy analyzes of what I saw at my grandmother's place in the Eastern Ore Mountains: Spruces turned brown and died, mullein disappeared, the forest floor became increasingly dry and good mushroom years were rare ...
The acid rain and the brown coal, which also left a special scent in my hair during the heating season, were to blame.
Across the border, fir trees without needles became a symbol of survival without forests.
Actually unthinkable for Germans, whose passion for forests is almost proverbial.
The topic activated people and brought about changes: filters for power plants and catalytic converters for cars. The air got better again and the German forest recovered. But apparently only temporarily. Because now the forest is worse off than ever before: drought, storms, pests ... - you don't have to drive far to see the whole area.
Kassandra calls again ...
This week the climate issue is once again on the global political agenda, in the EU, in Washington, in the whole world. Goals will be formulated and hopefully ways will be sought. Angela Merkel calls it a "Herculean task". Also the one figure of Greek mythology, a hero who conquered monsters and mucked out a legendary stable, that of Augias. So unreachable?
In a breviary with texts by the theologian Jürgen Moltmann is written about this Friday: "The feast of creation is the goal of the whole history of God with the world from the creation in the beginning to the creation of the end times." We are only a small part in everything, Fellow creatures and are allowed to hear: the end, the celebration of creation is still pending. Until then, let's be careful with her.

Download as a PDF file

What is a loser?

What is a loser?

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 22nd, 2021

What is a loser anyway?
Someone who crosses the finish line last, has the fewest points, has jumped too deep, has not dared?
One who has been waiting? Someone who doesn't just keep an eye on their own advantage?
One of …?
If you read interviews and comments on the decision about the candidacy for chancellor with the Greens, then Robert Habeck seems to be one of them. He sacrificed his dream and put aside his own ambitions, possibly found himself in the situation of not having freedom and having to back off just because he is a man. He must now be asked how it hurts.
And he doesn't pretend that doesn't hurt him.
Anyone who has come this far has given a lot, if not everything, and subordinated a lot to his goal. Now Robert Habeck is like many other - white - men who do not get a job or a role precisely because that is exactly what he is: a white man.
It's not fair. That shouldn't be a criterion.
But maybe it is the way. Somebody has to step on the trail.
Is that why Robert Habeck is a loser?
I can not find that. It's a consistent stance, and Habeck stands by it, even if it's to his detriment. It is astonishing that - at least in Die ZEIT - women in particular put into his mouth that he would shape the role of the male loser.
He is by no means the first. Are all the men who, in their partnerships and as fathers, women and daughters, who have encouraged and encouraged them to advance in their careers and have given up a career themselves, are they also losers? Are all the talented, well-educated women who stayed at home for decades losers?
Such a perspective makes you tough.
From this perspective, we are EU citizens who do not use all the vaccine doses produced in the EU just for ourselves, stupid losers.
Or those who at least now and then try to carry burdens together.
Incidentally, on the day of the announcement of the candidacy, the Moravian slogans said: “The Lord consolidates the steps for those whose path he pleases. If he falls, he doesn't fall, because the Lord supports his hand. "

Download as a PDF file

Sun!

Sun!

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 21, 2021

If you didn't experience for yourself how euphoric such a warm, bright sunny day is, you would smile gently at the enthusiasts while exaggerating - of course, the sun releases hormones - or something.
But when you then experience on yourself how the sun lifts your step and makes your heart light, you are amazed and at least I am often catchy at such moments. You have the latter in this distraction-free time - at least that's what I think I have observed - longer and more intensely than usual.
Lucky for me that mine is not annoying at all:
"The golden sun, full of joy and bliss, brings a heart-teasing, lovely light to our borders with its shine."
Paul Gerhardt, the lyricist, lived through much harder times than we did. He suffered from the Thirty Years' War and a terrible plague epidemic, stood at the graves of his children and struggled for words that would help.
It is deeply moving to hear how the man - to whom we owe wonderful songs such as: "I'm standing at your crib here" or "I sing you with heart and mouth" - drew strength from what was around him: nature . From their abundance and beauty he drew the certainty that he would be able to bear the painful borderline experiences of his life.
He took the sunlight and all the warmth and energy, life force and confidence like a gift. Perhaps a bit like the prophet Elijah experienced the strengthening of the robbery, who brought the exhausted, friable and desperate man to eat and drink in the desert and encouraged him to get up and start again.
And so it also says:
“My head and members, they lay down; but now I'm lively and happy, looking at the sky with my face. "
These words are so old - you can hardly believe that people have been comforting and strengthening themselves with them for four hundred years without the slightest wear and tear. Although: the sun barely shines, you can experience for yourself how euphoric such a warm, bright sunny day is, healing. Wonderful.

Download as a PDF file

Eight years old and in the mood for ice cream

Eight years old and in the mood for ice cream

Henning Böger, Pastor - April 20, 2021

Eight years old and in the mood for ice cream, that fits. But he is sitting in a wheelchair, cannot move arms and legs and cannot speak. His head always falls slightly to the right. Muscles not there either. But great desire for ice in the first spring sunshine.
That's why the parents are now sitting in the park with the boy. Grandma or a friend is also there. It's a lively group. And the boy, maybe eight years old, is in their midst.
Eight years old and in the mood for ice cream that fits. And he gets that too, like everyone else. Everyone has a mug from the ice cream parlor in their hand and is spooning. Mom and grandma hand the boy spoons of ice cream, sometimes Dad too. The boy is making noises. It sounds good. The adults are in conversation with each other. Sometimes they look at the boy in the wheelchair. A new spoon of ice. And then another hand that carefully wipes the boy's mouth with a rag.
Between the spoons of ice, someone also provides the boy's breathing mask. A machine is attached to the back of the wheelchair to help you breathe. The mask comes down briefly from the mouth and nose and a new spoon one. Then the mask has to be put back on. It looks well-rehearsed. Everyone lends a hand; everyone knows what to do. They are there with each other and for each other. Just because.
Eight years old and in the mood for ice cream, that fits. The burden would be too great for one person alone with the boy and ice cream and wheelchair and breathing machine. But it works together. When you don't have to say or ask a lot, when everyone knows what to do and lend a hand. Sure, the burden remains heavy. Every morning and evening. And every night. But nobody should wear them alone.
Often we do not understand life with its experiences of sickness, burden and suffering, which seem so arbitrarily distributed. Actually, you can never understand it! But what is not explained to us, we can carry together. Lend heart and hands when someone needs help. Or is in the mood for an ice cream. Then we should be there. Just because.

Download as a PDF file

Sheep and shepherds

Sheep and shepherds

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 19, 2021

A flock of sheep and their shepherd - this picture is in the church calendar above the new week together with the 23rd psalm and the word of Jesus: “I am the good shepherd.” For some time now I have not seen a flock of sheep in our region with their shepherd was on the road, maybe on TV at some point, but not in person. For the people of Jesus' time, however, this was part of everyday life. This image was very familiar to them and they knew immediately what it was supposed to express.
The shepherd is one who cares, who cares about the welfare of his sheep, who does not find it too difficult to look for each one when it has separated from the flock and is lost. And so Jesus says of himself: I am the good shepherd. Because the adjective “good” is important because the others also exist.
There are those who postulate themselves as shepherds in order to gather people behind them. But their intentions are far from good. They take advantage of the human primal longing to be able to join someone who is an idol, ideal or guiding star. We all know what can happen when the sheep no longer have critical care or are no longer permitted. All dictators call themselves good shepherds, and at some point it will be too late to see what goals they are actually pursuing.
I think that in our country too we have to be very vigilant to recognize the false shepherds who are trying again right now to gather new flocks around them. It is important to exercise caution towards those false shepherds who take advantage of the fear, uncertainty and doubts of many people in order to present themselves as saviors who have leased the truth but are actually up to something completely different.
Another picture is also awakened here. Sheep are generally considered to be simple-minded and underage. Instead of paying attention to the way myself and turning on my own brain, I trust myself more or less blindly to some guide figure. Let them take care of them, I'll run after them and if it goes wrong in the end, I'll have someone to blame.
This is not the idea that Jesus wants to convey as a good Shepherd. He gives us liberties, and he encourages us to use them. We should take responsibility for what we do and what we don't, responsibility for our lives and for the lives of our fellow human beings. Jesus wants a flock of mature and self-confident sheep who have understood what it is about and who are happy to stand up for it.
And we can be sure that we will always have him by our side as our good shepherd. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Impetus in life

Impetus in life

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 16, 2021

The last noon prayer with the large organ before it is dismantled, cleaned and restored. Once again full of sound and pomp and the notion of how much sound a thousand people swallow when a proper register is pulled here on Easter vigil or on Christmas Eve. So now there are a few months with less volume, a more straightforward style - with a small, borrowed makeshift organ and other instruments.
In Great Britain, however, Prince Philip is buried. Even that will be rather simple by royal standards - drove up in his Land Rover and without hundreds of thousands of people standing in line. Netflix experts know more than that he had to stay two steps behind the Queen - or so they think. As for me, I especially enjoyed watching him in "The Crown" ...
In the end, his lifelong companion is left alone, there are children standing at the grave who must have worried him and whose hardship the parental home played a part in, brothers who cannot walk side by side ...
In the end, a person is buried who buried dreams and still lived his passion - someone who became ancient (which is why it is strange to speak of dismay), someone who was happy and went home in the Easter festival circle as if he were Use the momentum of the Easter trip - through the dark.
You may remember when we had an African memorial service here last summer. It was a turbulent situation, because in an extended African family it's a bit like being with the royals - everyone wants to be part of the household ... In the end everyone stood in their colorful traditional robes in a large circle on the Burgplatz and sang. And how they sang!
“We give rise to the dead in heaven,” they said.
Tomorrow, people who have died of Corona will be remembered everywhere in the country. Perhaps it will be possible to find redeeming words for all who have remained behind, pacifying for those who cannot forgive circumstances - a surge into life here and there, because we are told:
"But I do believe that will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."

Download as a PDF file

Living

Living

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 16, 2021

Our daughter is looking for an apartment and so the whole family embarks on this mission: Register with Immowelt and Immoscout, view offers, register your interest immediately (not afterwards, then the advertisement is gone) and arrange visits ...
It's a nerve-wracking and time-consuming campaign - our family is well off because a number of apartments are within our financial reach. So I am optimistic that we will get the problem under control with our combined efforts, plenty of lead time and a little luck.
This is a privileged situation - in many ways.
And it tears open the narrow corona horizon (while I was writing this, the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on the rent cover was announced, which, although poorly threaded, nevertheless marks an urgent problem):
After all, what do young people do when they are alone in the overpriced, empty housing market - without the moral, organizational and financial support of a stable home?
What do all those who have lost their footing due to private, professional or now global crises and have to live, in fact, should really urgently live nicely, because especially when fear eats the soul and grief hangs over it, bright, beautiful rooms are a precious medicine ...
What do all those whose savings have melted away in the last few months, whose incomes have collapsed, and what do women do among those who are usually even harder financially?
Not to mention all the people, big and small, in emergency camps and camps ...
Who is talking about living in the sense of a home in which one is safe?
Germany is a rich country.
And yet living is also a concern here (a lot borrows here, because money makes money and wealth richer). Housing is an issue of concern that prevents or impedes development, integration, starting a family and self-determination for many people.
Housing is an issue that drives people into homelessness.
Housing is not anchored in the Basic Law, but a human right.
One of those who are now fading into the background.
It's time to open up your horizons ...


Download as a PDF file

Stay happy - in spite of everything!

Stay happy - in spite of everything!

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 15, 2021

"How are you?" "Oh, basically pretty good. But I'm really fed up with it! ”An often heard beginning of a conversation these days - I can understand it well. For over a year our life is no longer the way we knew and loved it, for over a year we have had to limit ourselves, forego many things and withdraw ourselves. We walk around strangely masked, only with difficulty see the facial expression our counterpart is having and somehow the scent of disinfectant wafts towards us almost everywhere, even here in the cathedral.
We are Corona-tired and the average level of annoyance is increasing continuously. You notice that when you go shopping, for example. I find that people are irritable and slightly aggressive a lot more often than they used to be. It sometimes takes a little longer at the meat counter or at the cash register and there is already complaining and complaining. The uncomfortable thing about it is that negative vibes are far more contagious than positive ones. Pulling other people down with your own bad mood is far easier than making bad-humored people smile again. And so the bad mood is spreading in some places just as quickly as the virus is currently.
Sometimes it helps to ask yourself specifically whether you are really feeling bad. Because the analysis of your own life situation often shows that, apart from a few restrictions, you basically don't have to endure anything serious. There are of course many people who are severely health and economically affected by Corona. I want to say that here very clearly and not downplay it. These people need support and solidarity from all of us. But there are also plenty of others who just make a fuss because many others are doing it at the moment.
I think we should remain fair, including when assessing our own living conditions. I don't want to gloss over everything now, but there are also, and especially now, many things that we can look forward to - every day anew. Most of us have a warm apartment, a well-stocked refrigerator, are healthy, and otherwise make a living. We can move freely outside, we can look forward to the first signs of spring, to soft green and blooming daffodils and forsythia bushes. And there is also the prospect that the higher the vaccination rate, further easing will be possible in the not too distant future.
And we have Easter behind us, our very personal long-term subscription to hope and confidence, which delivers safely even in times of pandemic. About today it says: “Be happy in you who love your name!” This word from Psalm 5 can remind us that we can also draw courage to be happy from our faith and our trust in God - a source, which bubbles reliably and abundantly.
Yes, a lot is difficult in these times, but sometimes it is much less difficult than we feel, think and experience. Let be happy in you who love your name! Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Children in power

Children in power

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 14, 2021

A shepherd dog has been part of my life for two years. She is at home with people who are so important to me that I had to try to make friends with a dog. Now I enjoy watching how Ziva discovers nature, how the clumsy puppy becomes a slim young lady and how she greets other dogs early this morning, sniffs, prances around a bit, shows caresses, enjoys encounters.
In my head I still had a newspaper photo of the two English Princes William and Harry, standing next to each other, keeping their distance at all costs ...
Then there is the mountain of letters from my confirmands, each with a translation of the 23rd Psalm into their own language. For the line: “You anoint my head with oil and give me full pouring” write: “God gives me respect and trust. He is generous ... "and on" You prepare a table before me in the face of my enemies "I read: God puts us together at the table so that we can get along. My enemies can see that God is behind me.
And Herbert Grönemeyer turned 65. Half a life ago he wrote: “Give the command to the children / you do not calculate
What they do / The world belongs in children's hands / An end to gloom
We are laughed to the ground / children in power ... "
Children in power ?!
Oh no: the long meetings, the arduous burden of responsibility, the spotlight, the constant observation, the tugging - no, it doesn't need to be.
But finally children in view, seriously and really more important than football, cars, shareholders, votes. They are so much worse off than puppies while being clairvoyant and alert, vulnerable and cautious.
It is not the children who celebrate parties or hold party conferences who are granted exceptions and corona aid is paid. But it is the children whose weeks of life count double, triple and quadruple.
"Let the children come to me and do not hinder them," said Jesus Christ. He knew they needed a hearing. First and foremost. It doesn't matter whether the disciples and everyone else grumble. Hopefully those in power will finally understand it too.

Download as a PDF file

For a peaceful coexistence

For a peaceful coexistence

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 13th, 2021

35 years ago today, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue in Rome. When you first hear it, that sounds a little like the significance of the famous sack of rice that fell over in China, but the visit had a historical dimension. It was the first time ever that a Pope visited a Jewish place of worship and so this date marks an essential stage in the intensification and also in the improvement of relations between Christians and Jews.
The relationship has been difficult, to put it mildly, over the centuries. Again and again it was Christians who were religiously motivated and participated in the oppression, persecution and murder of Jewish fellow citizens. These crimes were justified, or better covered, with the Christian mission of missioning to the Jews, that is, to convert people of the Jewish faith to the Christian faith.
Incidentally, the subject is not a purely Catholic one. Martin Luther initially spoke out clearly against violent proselytizing because violence, and one can only agree with it, denies the Christian faith. But later, when the missionary successes failed to materialize, he openly incited Jews and even demanded that Protestant princes destroy the synagogues and, if necessary, expel the Jews.
In the 19th century, during the colonial era, when Europe felt that it had to spread its culture and religion all over the world and that with violence, the mission to the Jews was massively strengthened. And not even 100 years ago the Holocaust was at least approved, if not even promoted, during the Nazi regime by parts of the Evangelical Church that called themselves German Christians. The Protestant Church has meanwhile turned away from the mission to the Jews and has finally recognized that both Jews and Christians are witnesses of God out of their respective faiths.
Israel is and remains God's chosen people. Certainly and thank God Jesus generalized this election and also included us in the circle of the elect. But he has by no means weakened or even dissolved God's covenant with Israel. And in all discussions on this subject, I think we have to keep in mind: Jesus, his disciples and also his mother Mary, they were neither Catholics nor Protestants. They were staunch Jews.
I am not a trained theologian and so I presume even less to judge other people's beliefs with categories like right and wrong. Can I rule out that all of these beliefs are part of God's great plan? No, I can not do that.
But I think I have understood that God demands tolerance and appreciation of our fellow human beings from us, because only such a coexistence is possible that allows God's peace. And I believe that all people who lead their lives in respect and appreciation for one another have God by their side, no matter who their church tax goes to. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

See and yet not recognize?

See and yet not recognize?

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 12th, 2021

The story of Jesus at Lake Tiberias was preached in our churches yesterday. There the risen Jesus appears to some of his disciples who are fishing together on the lake in Galilee, far from Jerusalem. Jesus comes to them and asks if they have something to eat for him. But the disciples have nothing because their fishing trip was unsuccessful. At this moment it is not at all clear to the disciples who is standing there in front of them. However, Jesus encourages his friends to go out onto the lake again and this time to cast the net on the other side of the boat. They do that and lo and behold: the net is full of fish.
I find it really remarkable that the disciples do not recognize Jesus again. After all, it is the third time that he has shown himself to them after his resurrection. The first time on the evening of Easter, then a week later when the disciple Thomas wanted to put his hands in Jesus' wounds and now again. But it always takes a long time until the disciples realize that Jesus is standing before them and talking to them. Why is that? After all, you were on the road with him for three years in the Holy Land, were together day and night, know him like hardly anyone else and yet each time you stand like an ox in front of the barn door and, figuratively speaking, do not see the forest for the trees.
The reasons are difficult to determine. However, what God has achieved in Jesus is really epochal. He breaks through the wall of death and after three days leads him out of this one-way street, he brings him back from a trip for which there was never a return ticket before.
But the life that Jesus has after his resurrection is different. It is not a mere continuation of what first ended on the cross on Good Friday. Jesus' resurrection life is very different, it is new and it is alien and maybe even so alien that it is simply not tangible to our senses. The eyes of the disciples, the eyes of us humans, may not be designed to recognize such resurrection life. This is possibly one explanation for the fact that the disciples do not notice who is standing in front of them and talking to them.
But apparently recognition is possible. The Emmaus disciples recognize Jesus breaking bread and in the story of Lake Tiberias it is John who exclaims: "It is the Lord." I think that all attempts to describe the life that awaits us conclusively and completely, are doomed. There may be a brief flash of knowledge every now and then, but we will probably only achieve a lasting understanding when the time has come and we have actually reached the other side.
But that in no way diminishes our legitimate hope that it will be great and glorious. So let's stay vigilant and curious and let us surprise us when the time comes. The Lord is risen and we will do likewise. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

... like scales from the eyes

... like scales from the eyes

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 10, 2021

The day before yesterday our cathedral preacher spoke here about the Emmaus disciples. I love this Easter story because it has such a great happy ending and also a few almost cheerful aspects. Again, as a reminder:
After the disaster on Good Friday and the discovery of the empty tomb, two disciples set out from Jerusalem on their way to Emmaus. Probably they just can't stand it anymore and want to get away from the hustle and bustle and also from the danger of being discovered as disciples of Jesus. On the way they meet a stranger who joins them. They start a conversation and tell him the whole story, they tell of their broken dreams, their shattered hopes, their grief and their fear.
At that point in time, the two disciples definitely did not believe that Jesus had risen as he had predicted. Jesus had seen it quite often that his disciples did not understand him. His reaction here on the way to Emmaus is therefore very clear: “O, you fools,” Luther translates elegantly; in plain English: "You idiots, why is it so difficult for you to believe what the prophets said?"
And then Jesus explains the whole story to them all over again. However, they only recognize with whom the disciples are traveling in the evening when they eat together. Then it falls like scales from their eyes and they storm back to Jerusalem in the middle of the night to tell everyone that Jesus is alive.
This story tells me that it is always worthwhile to be vigilant in faith. I am firmly convinced that God always presents us with signs of his presence - sometimes larger and sometimes smaller. And it is up to us to recognize these signs. And I also believe that Jesus is by our side often enough without our actually noticing it.
It took a long time for the two Emmaus disciples to recognize who was accompanying them. That didn't seem to bother Jesus much and besides his rather clear speech he then showed a lot of patience and explained to the disciples, Luke reports, from Moses to the prophets everything that is written about him in the Old Testament.
He certainly has this patience with us too. He will take the time we need to get closer to him, to understand what message he has for us, to grasp how life changing it is when we engage with him.
And I believe that we can and should report this knowledge as enthusiastically and joyfully as the disciples, even if it falls from our eyes like scales - even when it is already deep night outside. Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Heiko Frubrich, Auditor - April 9th, 2021

Today is the anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's death. He was murdered by the Nazis on April 9, 1945 in the Flossenbürg concentration camp in Franconia after a so-called "trial" but also on direct orders from Hitler.
Bonhoeffer was a committed representative of the Confessing Church and actively involved in the resistance against National Socialism. The Protestant Church in the Third Reich was split into two camps. On the one hand, under Reich Bishop Müller, there were the German Christians. They were racist, anti-Semitic and oriented towards the Führer principle. There are hard-to-bear pictures of Protestant pastors with a Hitler salute and a swastika slung around their necks. And there have been utterly absurd and disturbing efforts to "de-Jew" the Bible. For this purpose, a “people's testament” or a fifth gospel should be created, which should proclaim the myth of an Aryan Jesus.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer vehemently opposed these efforts. As early as 1933, together with Pastor Martin Niemöller, he was virtually a founding member of the Pastors' Emergency Association, which a third of the German pastors joined in protest against the removal of non-Aryan Christians from church service.
Bonhoeffer initially worked in England during the Nazi era. From 1937 on he trained pastors of the Confessing Church in Germany. His active participation in the resistance began in 1938 after the Nazis forcibly closed the seminary at which Bonhoeffer taught.
With unshakable moral courage, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has shown time and time again that the politics of the Nazis is diametrically opposed to the message of Jesus Christ. Incidentally, this also applies in our day to all political and other currents that show themselves to be racist, anti-Semitic or otherwise exclusive towards certain people. Today we are free to speak out against such thoughts, words and actions. As upright Christians and as a church as a whole, we should do that.
Many letters and other writings have survived from the last years of Bonhoeffer's life that testify to his view of faith, the church and the gospel. The chorale text “From good powers” ​​also comes from this time. Particularly noteworthy is his individual creed that he wrote:
“I believe that God can and wants to create good things out of everything, even from the worst. For this he needs people who allow all things to be served for the best. I believe that God wants to give us as much resilience as we need in any emergency. But he does not give it in advance, so that we do not rely on ourselves but on him alone. In such faith all fear of the future should be overcome.I believe that our mistakes and errors are not in vain either, and that it is no more difficult for God to cope with them than with our supposed good deeds. I believe that God is not a timeless destiny, but that He waits and answers for sincere prayers and responsible deeds. ”Amen.

Download as a PDF file

Heart warming

Heart warming

Cornelia Götz, cathedral preacher - April 8th, 2021

I can't cope with the cold of spring. It hits me far harder than polar air in November or February. I pull myself together, remember that what hurts my back is the muscles between the ribs and when, while running fast through the empty, drafty city, I brood over the poor people who are stranded in Calais and camp wild in the forest Are the subject or the political prisoners in Belarus, I don't need a selfie to know what to put on above my mask: two deep wrinkles above the bridge of the nose.
Did the Emmaus disciples, who left Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus and talked about all the calamity they had just experienced, also looked into the world like that - inwardly shivering, crumbling, grim?
You have every reason. It couldn't get much worse. One can easily agree on calamity and express oneself long and broadly and reinforce oneself and dig deeper into it and ... - Wasn't there just a question of the bright Easter day? Of joy? From the new beginning?
How do I hold onto this? How is it possible that the resurrection hope carries? Where do we get light and warmth when the news and weather are bad?