The coming of Jesus in Cologne
Merry Christmas! From Cologne we want to share how we have prepared and lived the spirit of Christmas in our city and with our community.
On the 8th of December, some people began with our community of Cologne a survey to the people on the Christmas-market of Cologne. The idea was to bring some personal contact to the people something contemplative in the midst of all the commerce you see there. We needed courage to go to people and to speak to them, to interrupt their conversations with each other or to go to someone alone, but it was so surprisingly that the people liked to talk with us and were thankful for our little gift (a candle with a bible-verse).
We asked the visitors of the Christmas market: What does Christmas mean to you? The visitors were willing to answer and we talked to some of them for a long time. Most of them associate Christmas with various aspects: A woman explained that to her Christmas in public has a commercial meaning. But it is important for her to spend time with her family and they don´t even give presents to each other. ” Love”, “family” and “friends” are most important to the majority. On the other hand, Christmas time is also hectic and stressful. A few saw also the religious meaning of Christmas. I think that we finished our visit very glad because of all these people we have met and did not know before.
It was important for us to show to the people that the church is not only an institution but goes where the people are and is open to them and interested in them. It meant to us also to come in touch with a part of the heart of Jesus in them. Next year we want to do this every week during the season of advent.
On the fourth Sunday of the Advent we met in our house in Cologne for one afternoon to prepare in common for the birth of Jesus. At least 20 people came to the house of the community. We started with sharing coffee, tea and Christmas cookies. After that we tinkered little men which we put in the Crib. Each little man at another place. Everyone put his little man, where he saw himself on the way to Christmas. Some of us were already really near to the Crib, others had a longer way to go. After that we went to the chapel, listened to the gospel and a little input about our way to the Crib. After twenty minutes of silence and some songs, we spoke about the meaning of Christmas for us and in our lives. It was a nice afternoon with a different preparation for Christmas: no gift shopping, no stress, but a time for God and the birth of his Son, his great gift to us.
Esther Berrens, (Cologne)