What is our burning issue?


Let’s speak about the core business

Christmas gives us a special opportunity to make a statement.  Church leaders speak about humanity and our social responsibility.  Tolerance is also a well-liked topic:  everyone can do as (s)he pleases.  And as annually the case peace, which is so obviously lacking in so many places, will be invoked.  At times it is hard to distinguish whether one is listening to a politician or a priest, as they both use the same empty words and almost identical, welling-sounding phrases.  But what does this have to do with Christmas?

At the start of this year Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Minister of Finance, wrote a guest commentary for the specialised journal Pastoral Theology.  In it accused the Protestant Church of one-sided politicisation.  Thereby one loses the spiritual core.

The core business of the Christian Faith is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God became flesh and died on the cross for all of our sins.  He conquered death.  By the power of the Holy Spirit we should and can lead a life that is pleasing to God.  Jesus will return and will actively shape history.  It’s about heaven and hell, eternal life or eternal death.

Faith is by no means easy.  You can equate it to a constant grappling for truth and the desire for a personal relationship with God.  For if we cannot discover the power of God in our lives we will very quickly question all matters of faith.

Jesus was a polariser through and through.  He said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one can come to the Father but through me!” That is strong stuff.  Who in Western Europe still wants to hear such statements?

Interestingly enough churches everywhere are packed with people where exactly this message is proclaimed.  As soon as the pastor speaking from the pulpit reduces Jesus to a wise teacher, out of embarrassment keeps quiet about the cross of Christ and at most admits that the resurrection has symbolic power, the attendance dwindles down to 15 old women or so sitting in the first few rows who will depart this life soon.

I pray that Diospi Suyana’s focus on the Bible’s central statements will never waver.  As can be read in his report on the most recent school assembly, Head of School, Christian Bigalke clings tightly to the core of the Christmas message.

Cacao and Panetton (Peruvian Christmas cake) for the pupils in the school yard.



Chocolate and Peruvian Christmas cake for the students

He writes: “This week the third school year of the Diospi-Suyana-School will draw to its close. Everywhere in Latin America it is the end of the school year.  The whole school attended the musical church service last Wednesday, whose one and only aim was to celebrate the birth of our Saviour (See photo above).  Almost all classes contributed to the programme: a colourful mix of songs, theatrical plays, dances and short inputs that all had to do with Christmas.  The parents’ participation was fantastic and the joy of the upcoming summer holidays could not be missed.

At the end everyone received a “chocolatada” (which is made from Cacao and Panetton) in the school yard after which the two directors Christian Bigalke and Nicolas Sierra personally presented the pupils with their reports.”

Here you can gain an insight into the service.  Sophia Oester prepared the following English song with her year 7: https://youtu.be/zMYBv9sJQQw

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