When we moved to Ireland in 2015, I thought it is a mostly Catholic Country with 3 percent Church of Ireland members. But I learned how colorful the Christian and Religious Landscape is! Yesterday Dublin Council of Churches met in the Ethiopian Church. Overwhelming hospitality! Thank you so much!
Short night. Celebrating Easter. Being involved in the service.
Now the Lutherhaus and Pastor’s manse is quiet. A little bit of sadness. Because it was a good and blessed week with lovely people!
See you soon: Confirmation next sunday. And – maybe – some of you again during Konfi-Camp 2018 !
Easter in St.Finian’s Dublin:
Easter morning service at 6am. 30 people, gathered around the fire outside the church. Carrying the light into the church. Celebrating the light and the hope and our baptism and holy communion. Sharing a breakfast. The Cross turned from the instrument of death to a tree of hope and life.
Easter service at 11am: Crowded Church. Volle Kirche. Deutscher Gottesdienst. Manche kamen aus Wexford, New Ross, Skerries, Hill of Tara, County Clare, Limerick, Trim und anderen Orten. Eine bunte Gemeinschaft. Musik mit Orgel und Querflöte.
According to Matthew two women came to the tomb of Jesus. There task was to rub the body of Jesus with ointment. But the tomb was empty! They met an angel and later on Jesus! A mixture of feelings: fear. happiness. hope. Suddenly the cross became a sign of hope and life!
Don’t be afraid, said Jesus to Mary Magdalene and Mary. Don’t be afraid – this is the main message of Easter for us: Don’t be afraid in this world with the darkness made by rulers and terrorists and accidents. Don’t be afraid facing death: I’m the light of this world, is Jesus saying to us, the Easter people. We are the people who are invited to bring God’s light into the world! We are the people who get the easterly power of peace and forgiveness and light! Let’s follow Mary and Mary who carried this message to the disappointed and fled and depressed disciples.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Don’t be afraid.
Glendalough: We all are Saints
Stunning weather for our Glendalough outing: A movie about the monks, followed by some words from Shaun while looking to the ancient monastery (picture). Since being in Ireland I have been many times in Glendalough, every time learning something: Today I learnt this wasn’t only a monastery in ancient times, it was a place of science, including maths as well! All came to an end in the 13th and 15th century.
The confirmation class explored the site guided by questions which brought the ancient walls and the nature in a relationship to our life.
Luke chapter 23 tells us the story: There were two men, crucified with Jesus. Criminals. One laughed at Jesus: If you are the Messiah, rescue us. The other one suddenly believed: Jesus is the son of God. And he asks: Pray for me in heaven. And Jesus answered: Today you will be with me in Paradise.
Jesus AND the two men: Even in the loneliness of suffering and death is Jesus with us. There is this AND. Jesus is there.
With Jesus God himself went into suffering and death. He is not only a far-away-God, siting on a heavenly throne. He is with us in the darknesses of life. There is this AND even in the deepest loneliness. So the Cross becomes a +, a positive sign.
Good Friday / Sin, Suffering, Death
Today we celebrated the service of Good Friday in St.Finian’s. The prayer of intercession was written by the confirmation people!
The afternoon was a silent one: We spoke about personal experiences with death and grief and our hope that there is a place in God’s heaven for us. But then there was laughter as well: Coloring eggs, playing games, baking – and discussing the confirmation sunday.
It wasn’t a lonely meal. Jesus celebrated Pesach / Passah, the main jewish feast, with his disciples and probably the women who followed him. AND there was Judas Iscariot. Jesus did not name him. But he mentioned: There is one of you who will betray me. Confusion: Is it me?
Jesus didn’t point at Judas. He didn’t threw him out of the room. So he remained there, celebrating the fellowship with Jesus.
Jesus AND Judas: Even the bad people are not excluded from fellowship with Jesus. Maybe people like us. How often did we betray Jesus when our faith is weak? Many times! It’s good to know that even we are invited to Jesus’ table: Jesus AND Judas. Jesus AND us.
Gemeinschaft / Fellowship
Today we explored a special fellowship: The fellowship with God while praying to him. There were different stations in the church where we could write different prayers. It was good to have this time silently praying. The picture shows the station at the altar.
Today we explored the Bible: One Book, two parts, three folding God, four Gospels, five books of Mose, six days needed God to create the world, seventh day for rest… We learned: God dwells in his words! And we met Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into German. A peaceful day with a lot of laughter and deep thoughts and friendship.
Today we explored: Who is God? We discovered four items in a black box symbolizing God. A picture with a hidden picture in it was a good example how God dwells in the world. The story about blind people describing an elephant by touching him (one get a leg, another one the trunk, the third an ear…) shows us the truth about God behind all Religions and Confessions. And finally: We explored God’s creation and what mankind has done with it. The pictures show the Elephant and three members of the Confirmation Camp exploring Nature behind the Lutherhaus.