Metamorphosis

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 natu­re by the renewing of your mind!» 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 bey­ond our own abi­li­ty. No one can bring them­sel­ves to spi­ri­tu­al matu­ri­ty. The crea­ti­ve life-crea­ting action of God must hap­pen to us. We are to seek it and allow it.

Based on the Ser­mon on the Mount from Mat­thew 5–7, we will look at how we can come clo­ser to divi­ne per­fec­tion (Mat­thew 5:48) by fol­lowing Jesus. This is an extre­me­ly exci­ting and hope­ful path that is worth taking! Are you coming?

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 the school­house 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 very well 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.… 

Serene engagement

03 Octo­ber 2021 
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 your being be trans­for­med! 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 wie­ld power, tho­se who exer­cise power, tho­se who play power games and tho­se who wie­ld 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… 
On 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 way 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 the­me of the year for see­tal chi­le and is also 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» (Jn 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 fruit 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 …

Dying towards life

24 Janu­a­ry 2021 
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…