Consolation in chaos (#5)

The reflection of the 2nd verse of Silent Night in the last blog sounded a bit unusualy, didn’t it?

Today’s reflection is meant to give hope: Consolation in chaos.

3rd verse, literal translation from German:

Silent night! Holy night!
That brought salvation to the world,
from the heavenly golden heights
lets us see the fullness of grace
Jesus as human being! 
Jesus as human being.

1816, in Salzburg all around only chaos! The country bled to death after the Napoleonic wars, the year without summer – crop failures after a volcanic eruption in Indonesia one year before. People/children literally starved to death and a dramatic personal fate of Mohr! I will tell more about that in a later blog! Shouldn’t he have cried out: „Dear God, why are you doing this to us!?“ „You mighty cathedral in Salzburg, why don’t you protect us!?“ It was a hard test of faith for Joseph Mohr!

He didn‘t console himself with the view to the hereafter! He didn‘t ask for help. He didn‘t accuse! He marvels and rejoices: „God, you share our fate, you have become one of us human beings! – not like a man of action, but as a child in need of help! 

Do you feel it, warmth emanates from this jubilation! We are not alone, we all belong together! This is the salvation that the child Jesus brought into the world.

Jesus as human being – he has really become one of us – not only in Israel 2,000 years ago, but also today in Salzburg, in Saudi Arabia, in the Ukraine, in China, Burundi, in Peru, – even in the Vatican! Grace does not happen in heaven, it happens where people meet each other – and that! The Bible describes it in the story of the resurrection as follows: „What do you seek for the living among the dead? Lk. 24,5

We know that Joseph Mohr was a good theologian. He studied it intensively, brought his personal life into harmony, and thereby gained a view of Christian salvation that had little to do with the traditional theology of that time: the salvation of humanity does not happen through a sacrifice, through Jesus‘ death on the cross, but through the fact that the Son of God became historically real and shared thus our lives! My fellow Protestant Christians may not throw stones at me – and not at Joseph Mohr! Let us just leave it like this.

In the next blog we will look at the 4th verse. It is the verse that makes Silent Night to THE peace song.

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