Donnerstag, 12. Dezember 2013

"From out the forest I now appear..."

"Are you looking forward to Christmas?"
When I asked that question in the last days, I often got the answer: "Basically, yes. But the stress in advance! About starting from 20th, 21th December, ther starts Christmas for me."
"And what’s for you the main thing at Christmas, what has not to lack anyway?"
Many name the fir tree, the enchanting candle atmosphere, but yet more important for many are the family, the common meal, the time spent together.
Memories of earlier years under the Christmas tree awake, like one looked with big eyes to the yet much bigger fir tree in those days from another perspective, the little eyes as sparkling as the many candles, and perhaps somebody recites the famous Christmas poem: "From out the forest I now appear, to proclaim that Christmastide is here…"
In front of the eyes there pops up a snowy forest, memories to Christmas walks through the snow awake – but let us have a more precise look to this poem:

From out the forest I now appear
To proclaim that Christmastide is here!
For at the top of every tree
Are golden lights for all to see;
And there from Heaven’s gate on high
I saw our Christ-child in the sky.

And in among the darkened trees,
A loud voice it was that called to me:
"Knecht Ruprecht, old fellow", it cried,
"hurry now, make haste, don’t hide!
All the candles have now been lit –
Heaven’s gate has opened wide!

Both young and old should now have rest
Away from cares and daily stress;
And when tomorrow to earth I fly
“it’s Christmas again” will be the cry."

And then I said: "O Lord so dear.
My journey’s end is now quite near;
But to this town I’ve still to go,
Where the children are good, I know."

"But have you then that great sack?"
"I have,’ I said, ‘it’s on my back.
For apples, almonds, fruit and nuts
For God-fearing children are a must."

"And is that cane there by your side?"
"The cane’s there too," I did reply;
But only for those, those naughty ones,
Who have it applied to their backsides."
The Christ-child spoke: "Then that’s all right!
My loyal servant, go with god this night!"

From out the forest I now appear
To proclaim that Christmastide is here!
Now speak, what is there here to be had?
Are there good children, are there bad?

Theodor Storm (1817-1888), „Knecht Ruprecht“

Perhaps remember some of you the picture of the humpbacked old man with a heavy sack at his shoulders who helps the Christ-child with its work – but stop, hasn’t there been told something about a cane? "But only for those, those naughty ones, who have it applied to their backsides." The good ones are rewarded and the naughty ones punished, by listening the first time that sounds fair. But who lays down what is good and what is bad? And how do I perceive myself? As good? As bad? As something in between? Many people contain within themselves the memory of having had to dance after the pipe of somebody else and of being birched physically if they not behaved respective – or as the fancy took him.
Is it that how we picture god to ourselves? As somebody who rewards or punishes at his discretion and occasionally is incalculable? But by all means, it doesn’t need a god who punishes us in our thoughts - often we do that on our own. It’s hard to forgive oneself his own mistakes, really to forgive, to let heal the past and to dare to do a new step forward. It’s often easier to forgive others, but sometimes even that requires enormous strength. And to confess to oneself that it’s difficult for oneself – that’s the first step to let heal the past and not to drag the wounds of the past into the future.
What about that poem instead:

There goes a secret sparkle
Veiled through all the world.
In the dark there stands a star
The time is now fulfilled.
The wise men in the winds
Are tired of all questions.
The angel shall they find
Who good message has to say.
The shepherds at the crouches
Have neither house nor light.
Soon will a word exult them
That is: Don’t be afraid!
There will be born a baby
In the stable near ox and ass,
The world won’t drop away:
The kingdom of heaven is here.

Rudolf Otto Wiemer (1905-1998), „Es geht ein heimlich Funkeln“

"The kingdom of heaven is here." Christmas is the memory of the kingdom of heaven is not tomorrow, not next year, not some day, but here and now. I don’t have to reach a certain goal at first, don’t have to become yet more patient, more courageous, more industrious or whatever – it’s good that I am where I am now and as I am now. The message of the angel is directed to us, too: ‘Don’t be afraid!’
Let the light of the star fulfill you, let it light you darknesses, banish the fear and trust that your way is a blessed one.

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen