Metamorphosis

Die Meta­mor­pho­se ist in der Zoo­lo­gie die Umwand­lung der Lar­ven­form zum Erwach­se­nen­sta­di­um – bei­spiels­wei­se von einer Lar­ve zu einem Schmet­ter­ling. Der glei­che Begriff wird auch in der Bibel in Römer 12,2 ver­wen­det: «Lasst euch in eurem Wesen ver­wan­deln durch die Erneue­rung eures Sin­nes!» Das ist eine sehr inter­es­san­te Beschrei­bung des Rei­fungs­pro­zes­ses eines Nach­fol­gers von Jesus. Der Impe­ra­tiv for­dert uns her­aus, einen Pro­zess im eige­nen Leben zuzu­las­sen, der ganz und gar aus­ser­halb unse­rer eige­nen Mög­lich­kei­ten liegt. Nie­mand kann sich sel­ber in die geist­li­che Rei­fe brin­gen. Das schöp­fe­ri­sche lebens­schaf­fen­de Han­deln Got­tes muss an uns gesche­hen. Wir sol­len es suchen und zulassen.

Anhand der Berg­pre­digt aus Mat­thä­us 5–7 set­zen wir uns damit aus­ein­an­der, wie wir in der Nach­fol­ge Jesu der gött­li­chen Voll­kom­men­heit (Mat­thä­us 5,48) näher kom­men kön­nen. Es han­delt sich dabei um einen äus­serst span­nen­den und hoff­nungs­vol­len Weg, den es sich zu gehen lohnt! Kommst du mit?

The red lantern

25 December 2021
In the film "The Shepherd", it is impressively shown how Jesus changes the life of the shepherd Simon. With a limp, a gaping wound on his arm and a defective sacrificial lamb, he is humiliated. He brings up the rear and carries the Red Lantern. When Jesus is born, he is suddenly first. Jesus turns his life upside down. Jesus - the light of the world - took the Red Lantern from him and - he still does that today. Holding the Red Lantern...
In the Kigo theatre we immersed ourselves in the Christmas story. A story that comes from another world. A world that does not at all correspond to ours - at least that is how it seems. So much seems strange. Angels are practically only known as decorative items. Sheep at best as a side dish for chips and herb butter, and shepherds at best on the packaging of Penaten cream. And yet this story also has something to say to you and me. Just like the wise men from the east...

Build on rocks

12 December 2021
The gap between hearing and doing is a general human phenomenon. When God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, he impressively overcame this gap. John describes this with the words: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us". In the life of a follower of Jesus, too, the Word is to become flesh and take form. Such a person is like one who builds his house of life on a rock. The storms of everyday life cannot harm him. Some...
The concept of peace strongly characterises the Advent and Christmas season. But what do we mean by peace? A guide to Jesus Christ, the bringer of peace, for a peaceful start to the new year I am dedicating this sermon for the 2nd Advent to a truly Christmassy concept! It is not called a gift, nor a candle, nor a fondue chinoise, but simply peace! It was a night when an angel announced the birth of the Saviour to the shepherds in the field. Suddenly the night was as bright as day and they were...

World 2.0

28 November 2021
Deep in our hearts we long very much for a better world. Jesus came to us to show us this better world, His Kingdom. If we follow Him, we will bring His Kingdom (World 2.0) into this world. I like to remember the moment when I flew to Canada for the first time. And it was doubly wonderful because it was right after my recruit school. I was immediately fascinated by the nature, the vastness, the possibilities and...
Regarding the transformation into Jesus-likeness (metamorphosis), there are various stumbling blocks. One might say, "Yes, but this one says ... and that one says ...". Look at the way they live their lives. If the fruits of a life according to the Sermon on the Mount are not visible, such prophets have no authority for you. But it is not only a matter of prudence, but also of personal discernment. Am I a good tree with good fruit? We must not frantically try to bring forth good fruit, but strive to be a good...
Knowing God is the most important thing. My lip service and even miracles in the name of God are insignificant if I do not know God. Knowing God means that I put all my trust in him. This trust is called faith. By being rooted on a good foundation - Jesus Christ - good deeds can come about. Faith and being rooted can be seen in the fact that my life is driven by love. I lived in Bern for almost four years. Often when I had visitors...
The parable of the broad and narrow way has a formative and rather moralistic impact history. This was probably not Jesus' intention. In the context of the teaching on character and virtue in the Sermon on the Mount, He wants to tell us: Stop saying, "But that's what gets me into trouble." Be prepared to pay the price for living according to God's standards. It is the condition for transformation towards Christlikeness. When I was a child, I didn't just go to school during the week....

The Golden Rule

24 October 2021
"Deal with others as others should deal with you. This sentence sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12 NLB). This is the so-called Golden Rule of Jesus. In this one sentence is the potential to change the world for the better. After the Golden Rule, the commandment of love is a second summary of the Law and the Prophets. When we deal proactively and in love with others, God's kingdom definitely takes shape. ...
Ask - receive, seek - find, knock - it will be opened to you. This is how simply Jesus describes the life of prayer. Unfortunately, this statement does not correspond much with our experience. How often do we ask, seek, knock, but there is no response. This is because most of the time we pray with too much of an "I" fixation. Our Father in heaven wants to do us good and knows exactly what is good for us. But first we have to recognise what we should ask, seek and knock for. It goes...
People tend to look down on others and judge their behaviour, lives, etc. This is often done out of sheer arrogance to boost their own self-esteem. This is often done out of sheer arrogance to increase their own self-esteem. Jesus asks us to start with ourselves first. We are to recognise the bars in our lives and stop doing so. In doing so, we realise that it is impossible for us humans to live up to the high standard of the Sermon on the Mount. This in turn drives us into the arms of Jesus Christ, who mercifully accepts us. Overcoming our own (religious) arrogance....
He who finds his ultimate support in the heavenly Father becomes serene. Free of worry and fear, he can focus on the kingdom of God. This means committing oneself to the values of peace, joy and justice in all areas of life. Whoever does this without reserve will experience God's provision by means of many coincidences. The metamorphic cycle is: serenity from prayer - commitment to the kingdom of God - provision by chance. The entry point is in prayer - enjoying filiation and cultivating communion with...
In faith, we stumble over our own ideas from time to time. In dealing with them, we feel the hand of God changing us. "Such a day, as beautiful as today...such a day, it should never pass." There was a day in my life when I could have sung that line with all my heart. On the day of my conversion! The counsellor explained to me, using Isaiah 53, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and He offers forgiveness. This I...
The way out of the treadmill of worry, that is, out of the fixation on myself, is through the "single eye", that is, through a reorientation of the gaze. And this happens through prayer. It becomes clear that the metamorphosis of man exceeds human possibilities and efforts. The Prayer of the Unfather leads him beyond himself into the encounter with the heavenly Father. Thus he finds simplicity. In the process, the two cardinal virtues of serenity and single-mindedness are cultivated. In the following of Jesus lies...
The middle of the Sermon on the Mount is about prayer. Prayer is also the key to transforming a person into the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus mentions two obstacles on the way to good character: hypocrisy and pious performances. If we fall prey to these, our character will be corrupted. From the father-child relationship with God comes liberation and change. The Greek philosopher Aristotle taught that whoever wants to cultivate his character must have a goal. Then it is a matter of...
God wants to free us from our wrong priorities and fears. Jesus saved us on the cross, thereby giving us the freedom to make good choices. He sets us free to choose the right path, even if it is not always easy. This freedom brings real life, which rewards us with abundant fruit. Aron Ralston, a gifted climber and mountaineer, was looking forward to some time alone in Bluejohn Canyon in Utah America. Far away from any civilisation,...
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to do good. However, it should not be about being praised. Love for fellow human beings and God should be the supporting motive and result in a giving lifestyle. For some time now, I have been financially supporting a family in India in their livelihood. When I visited the family in January 2020, I assumed that they thanked me for my support. So I spent the few days...
We are knitted differently and yet all ingeniously created by God, no matter whether it is an exhibition piece or a chamber pot! We've been seeing a potter's hands in the countdown and teaser for more than half a year now. What does that do for you? Some people get the urge to try something like that. Others, on the other hand, don't like to get their hands dirty. We start by listening to the prophet Isaiah, who says of his people before God: "Lord, you are our...
Daddy is the best! This is especially true of the heavenly Daddy. HE is merciful and of great goodness and combines all the other excellent qualities. A person's calling is to become more like this God. Let yourselves be transformed in your being! Our contribution is to appreciate this God, spend time with Him and listen to Him. Everything else will run by itself. I can still hear a sentence by René Winkler, which he...
Make Love, not War ("Make love, not war"). This catchphrase sums up love of enemies succinctly. Instead of war, followers of Jesus are to respond to hostility with love. The Father in heaven serves as a model for an exceptional lifestyle. He is not only a role model, but he wants to transform us into this character through metamorphosis. Carlos Ortiz, the pastor of the fastest growing church in Buenos Aires, told a story at a conference. For many years he had been...
It's about the power guzzlers of today and the very practical question: How do we Christians recharge our batteries with God? Life needs strength! Children, young people and adults are sometimes stretched to their limits. That's why at the beginning of July there was a widespread sigh of relief: "Holidays at last!" And isn't it: We all need times when we can switch off. Times to breathe a sigh of relief, to draw strength, because life challenges us all and every now and then we ask ourselves:...
God's power shows itself in miracles that we can perceive with our natural eyes. But miracles are not the daily portion of God's power that we need most. If we want to experience God's power permanently, deeply and existentially, so that our feelings, thoughts and actions are gripped by it, then we must learn to see with the inner eyes, with the eyes of the heart. Power means freedom of action. There are those who have power, those who exercise power, those who play power games and those who have power. Power does not have a good reputation. That is why there are...
Isaiah says, "Yes, Lord, you are a God who hides Himself, you God and Saviour of Israel." We all experience the hiddenness of God, often just when we need Him most. What is important to persevere in such times and give a boost to our faith? Jesus can become an example to us in this regard too. Last Sunday in the sermon, a woman from Humlikon was quoted as saying the following in the documentary film on the 1963 plane crash: "Before...
The foundation in our Christian life is the deep knowledge of God's love. This being loved is the breeding ground for a close and deep relationship with God. This relationship changes us, brings growth and enables us to pass on this love. It was a cool, foggy September morning in 1963. The seats on the plane were all filled with expectant, excited travellers who had been looking forward to this day for a long time. Then, finally, at 7:13 a.m., the two turbines howled and...
The glory of God is the combined total of all His grandiose divine attributes. Everything combined together makes God a glorious God. Jesus Christ put aside divine glory when he came to earth as a man. On the cross he was glorified and thereby made access to God's glory possible for us. When we look at the crucified and risen Jesus, we recognise God's glory and are changed into it. The Sermon on the Mount makes it clear that in the metamorphosis...
Doubts can be encouraging, annoying or dangerous - and even used as a weapon. No wonder doubts also appear in the prayer of Francis of Assisi: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, that I may bring faith where doubt threatens." "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, that I may bring faith where doubt threatens." The very fact that Francis of Assisi mentions doubt in his profound prayer shows how close doubt often is to us. When you look at...
René Winkler is Head of Continuing Education & Events at St.Chrischona Theological Seminary (tsc). He speaks about the parable of the two prodigal sons and concludes that it is about becoming like the father. There is no flowing text of this sermon. 
You can compare Our Father to a mountain region: It is vast and full of beautiful places. We are taking a train journey through the middle of the Lord's Prayer to get to know it better and to marvel at it. A fortnight ago we met to start the Lifegroup Weekend together. We had a lot of fun! - For example, at the "Shiitli um" or in the canoe. And we studied the Lord's Prayer, probably the best known prayer in Christianity. I was very happy to see how much joy you all had in...
Many think that the motto "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" is a very anarchic and bloodthirsty one. The opposite is the case: this instruction served as a precept of the public courts and helped to curb evil. Jesus then addresses the personal dealings among his followers. There, virtues such as gentleness and magnanimity are to be promoted. There is a clear differentiation between the task of the state and the personal handling of conflicts. A sandbox scenario could look like this: Jonas steals Lars, his neighbour's boy,...
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenges us to speak the truth. The tension between truth and lies runs through the whole Bible. Lie is the mother tongue of Satan, truth is the mother tongue of God. In order to find the truth, our hearts must be changed by the one who is the truth. In the process, we are confronted with the abysses of our heart and being. No problem, Jesus can transform our being! There is a saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword." You can achieve more with words...
At the first Pentecost, the people present experienced some supernatural phenomena: fire, wind and foreign languages. Today, the Holy Spirit still wants to work among the followers of Jesus. In order to still experience the Holy Spirit today, we have to direct our focus on the decisive things in life and learn to wait patiently. This is the path to true metamorphosis as well as experiencing supernatural events. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. The reason is that on Pentecost the Holy...
Where does Jesus want to take me a step further? Where does he want to encourage me to do something in view of him and his kingdom that I have never done before! Is it my turn to take a step in faith and extraordinary love? We were invited to a birthday party 10 days ago. We had a toast on a beautiful sun terrace with a view of the mountains - wonderful! A woman is there who is leaving with her partner in a few days for a three-month sailing trip. A married couple reports on their...
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also speaks about marriage and divorce. Because the marriage covenant is fundamentally holy and indissoluble, he does so very restrictively. The only reason that legitimises divorce and remarriage is fornication. Jesus can probably only set such a high standard because he creates a new heart in his followers and thus enables them to be faithful and to love. Marriage is a cloister that God has chosen to make us more like Him. The same goal is pursued by metamorphosis....
Summary: In the midst of thousands of questions and answers in the topic of "identity", the Bible asks us one question that is much more important than all the others: Are you born again? The new birth redeems us from our old condition - death - and gives us new life through Jesus. This identity floods all other facets of our being. At the Lifegroup Weekend a year ago, you - Selina, Svea, Immanuel, Janik, Peniel and Timon - requested that we talk about "identity" this morning....
Summary: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks in a few words about sex as an expression of lust and as an expression of love. God as the inventor of sexuality talks about it in a very relaxed and helpful way. The first call to man was to be fruitful and multiply. And then came the Sabbath. God has given us two things: sexual life as a joy to express love, and the gift to control the urges. This sermon is about the basics for...
Summary: Many Christians have heard hundreds of sermons, but are amazed and excited when they learn a lot about themselves, about good communication and conflict management in a company staff seminar. Yet the Bible has much to say that is suitable for everyday life. This sermon relates Bible texts to the topics mentioned. Once a woman had spread rumours about her neighbours and slandered them. This caused a lot of trouble. A long time later she repented and asked her neighbour for forgiveness. He forgave her...
Summary: Jesus does not abrogate the Torah in the Sermon on the Mount, but interprets it correctly. Thus he says that we should not only not kill, but also not cover our neighbour with evil words. He gets to the root of the problem. In today's sermon we learn how to deal with each other with dignity in case of conflict. Since Jesus values life very much, it is very important to him that no one is shamed. In England, a man robbed a bank. In the process he was...
Peter in the "cross-fire" of Jesus' resurrection. A rupture that ends in departure. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for in his great mercy he has given us new birth. Now we have a living hope, because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3 NL). Easter morning - that was a turbulent morning! Two women want to embalm the body of Jesus, but he is no longer there. The tomb is empty. An angel frightens them, but...
Today is Good Friday, in three days Easter. This sequence also applies to the personal and faith process towards maturity. Paul wants to experience the resurrection power of Christ. For this to happen, he also wants to share in his suffering and become like him even into his dying. This sermon explains the significance of this truth for our lives. It seems to me that it happens more and more often that my wife Silvia says something about which thoughts run through my head at the same time. At the same time...
In the parable of the sower, Jesus describes a metamorphosis of the heart. The Word of God wants to change our hearts so that we grow and bear much fruit. God wants to send us out into this world as his ambassadors so that everyone can experience the Good News today. Metamorphosis is the annual theme of seetal chile and also appears in the title of today's sermon. Metamorphosis, the Greek word for transformation. Nature shows this transformation process in the impressive example of the inconspicuous caterpillar....
In the Sermon on the Mount there are six theses which are translated as "You have heard that it says in the Law of Moses: ... But I say unto you". How did Jesus relate to the law of the Old Testament? What is the relationship between law and grace? And what does the better righteousness mean that Jesus demands from his disciples? Such and other interesting and relevant questions will be clarified in this sermon. What did Jesus change about the way we live? Normally Christians are of the following conviction:...
The city on the mountain describes a place of longing and is an image for heaven on earth. It is an image for the kingdom of God that is invisibly building itself in us and around us. It is a city that reaches far beyond geographical and political boundaries and where Jesus is the undisputed ruler on the throne. In this city built with living stones, Jesus is the cornerstone. With the surrender of our lives in baptism....
We wonder how Peter's experiences influenced his metamorphosis. The metamorphosis of Simon Peter begins on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where he is cleaning the fishing nets together with three others. Then Jesus comes. He looks at Simon very long and attentively and says: "You are Simon, the son of John, but you will be called Cephas" - this is the Aramaic word for Peter and means "rock" (Joh. 1,40-42). Jesus is soon surrounded by a crowd. He ascends...
The first part of the Sermon on the Mount is about "city development". God is the creator and builder of the city, which is visibly situated on a mountain (Matthew 5:14). The virtues from the Beatitudes are something like the entrance gate to this city and at the same time a description of the culture that prevails there. People who dance to God's music make up this city, the kingdom of God. The first part of the Sermon on the Mount is about "urban development". Austria's Vienna, Germany's Freiburg and St. Gallen in Switzerland bear...
The audience heard the Sermon on the Mount with Jewish ears. There are many images in it that set the head cinema of those present in motion. We approach the Sermon on the Mount from the Old Testament. In the Psalms we discover the three-step process: building virtue and character, realising God's reign, and trusting God and praying. The metamorphosis should lead us to learn to dance to the music of God. Once upon a time there was a little boy. His father sat in the same room and wanted to read the newspaper....
Jesus has chosen us and destined us to produce fruit in our lives. These fruits are Good Actions, character traits from the Holy Spirit and people coming to faith in Jesus. But fruit can only grow under the right circumstances, which is why Jesus commissioned us to "abide in his love". The best conditions for fruits to grow, only exist in the bond with Jesus. Whoever reminds himself again and again of how firmly he is loved by God and who protects himself from...
Experiencing metamorphosis. Living between "I nimm es wie's chunnt!" and my wishes for change. "This good news that has reached you is spreading all over the world. Everywhere it is changing people's lives, just as it changed yours from the moment you heard and knew the truth about the grace of God" (Colossians 1:6 NL). Change - that's a scary word for some, because they love it when everything continues in the usual style. "Only ...
The metamorphosis "Let your being be transformed!" describes the process of a follower of Jesus in transforming from ego-nature to Jesus-likeness. Jesus needs the image of the grain of wheat that has to die in the earth so that it can bear much fruit. A follower of Jesus dies in the metamorphosis towards life. The focus of this sermon is on life in the adult stage. What does this look like in the key areas of life - money and possessions, career and employment, and family and friends?...
The environment in which a spiritual metamorphosis (transformation of being) can happen is following Jesus. Jesus sets the bar for discipleship very high and thus excludes all sympathisers. Neither material comfort nor a job nor a profession nor family or friends may stand between Jesus and his followers. But - there is a huge promise on discipleship: "And everyone who leaves houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or fields for my name's sake will have everything returned to him a hundredfold, and will have the...
Metamorphosis in zoology is the transformation of the larval form to the adult stage - for example, from a larva to a butterfly. The same term is also used in the Bible in Romans 12:2: "Be transformed in your being!" This is a very interesting description of the maturing process of a follower of Jesus. The imperative challenges us to allow a process in our own lives that is entirely outside our own capabilities. No one can bring themselves into spiritual maturity. This...