Bring fruit

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

What does it mean to bear fruit? What do we think of first of all, when we hear these words? Most of us probably associate “bearing fruit” with performance. We bring fruit when we “bring” something, do something, when we work in our own strength and something emerges from it. Because performance is important and expected in many areas such as school, work, household, etc., this meaning is often the first that comes to our mind.

In our everyday life we ​​are constantly challenged, students should get good grades, the working person should do a good job and the housewife should bring the eating to the table on time.

Also in the Bible Jesus speaks of bearing fruit and that we are destined to bear fruit. In John 15: 1-5 we read:

“I am the real vine and my father is the vine grower. Every branch on me that does not bear fruit he cuts away, and every branch that bears fruit he cuts back and cleanses it so that it bears even more fruit. However, you are already clean because you have heard and accepted my word. Abide in me and i abide in you! A vine cannot bear fruit by itself; it must stay on the vine. You cannot bear fruit either if you do not remain connected to me. I am the vinetribe; you are the vines. Whoever remains in me and I in him brings abundant fruit. Because apart from me you cannot do anything.”

How fruit grows in nature? A seed is sown, a vine grows and forms the branches that are connected to the vine. A vine cannot grow fruit from itself. Jesus makes a comparison. He is the vine, God the Father is the vine gardener and every person who has heard and accepted God’s word is a branch. How can we be branches that bear fruit? No fruit can arise from one’s own strength, through one’s own performance or actions. We are not the root that has to make its way through stones and rocks to the water and hold the plant. Nor are we the tribe that has to procure food and carry the plant. We are the branches that are simply attached to the vine and receive the sap of the plant. This is how we should stay connected with Jesus in order to bear fruit. The relationship with Jesus, to remain in him, is the prerequisite for fruit to grow in our life.

The fruits that grow on a vine also have their purpose. The grape is a food that strengthens people and it also carries the seeds of the vine and passes them on. And so, if we remain connected to Jesus, we can live in our destiny and develop fruits that strengthen and encourage our fellow human beings and pass on what Jesus gives us, his love, his peace, his hope, his light. The fruits that arise from the connection, relationship with Jesus are written down in Galatians 5:22:

“But the fruit that the spirit grows is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, loyalty, gentleness and self-control”

God’s purpose for us does not lie in performance and our own “doing”, but in “being” children of God and making Jesus, who lives in us, visible in our lives.

Be merciful as your Father is merciful

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

What does it mean to be merciful? A merciful person is someone, who opens his heart to others, who takes part in the suffering and need of others and helps. Mercy sees and perceives its neighbor and can empathize with others. A character trait that we urgently need in our society. We need people who not only think of themselves and their own benefit, who do not primarily have their own well-being in mind, but are also there for others and love those who are not doing so well.

“Be merciful as your Father is merciful!” Jesus urges us in Luke 6:36.

This verse led me to think about the difference between divine and human mercy. God’s mercy is much greater and goes much further than our human mercy. He is the Father of Mercy, that is how he is described in the Bible. He is the merciful and gracious God. The story of the prodigal son expresses his mercy:

A father has two sons. The younger son demands his inheritance from his father. As soon as he receives it, he moves away and squanders the money abroad. Sunk into a beggar, he works as a swineherd and is so hungry that he longs ruefully back for his father’s house and resolves to confess his sin to his father and ask him for a job as a laborer. When he actually returns home, the father is so happy about his son’s return that he hardly lets him finish and takes him back straight away. He dresses him festively and throws a big party. When the older son, who has served the father faithfully all along, complains about the behavior of the father, the latter replies: “My child, you are always with me, and everything that is mine is also yours. But now we have to be happy and have a party; for your brother was dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found again ”. You can read the whole story here: Luke 15: 11-32

God’s mercy is an undeserved but generous giving in unconditional love, it is therefore a gift. God turns to the repentant Son in love, with a gracious, forgiving look. He does not judge him or punish him for his faults and guilt. So God rejoices in every person, in every sinner who repents and comes home to the Father. God is merciful and kind even to people who stray astray, walk ungodly ways in order to lead them back to God’s fatherly love. How can we ourselves be merciful like the Father and live mercy in our everyday lives? Our mercy is limited by our own human power. As long as someone is kind to us, we are there for others, but what if we are hurt or treated badly? Being good to people from whom we do not expect good is not easy. When we help, we expect help in return; when someone hurts us, we tend to have negative feelings like vengeance rather than mercy. From a human perspective, mercy is mostly conditional. Divine mercy, on the other hand, gives without expecting anything in return, cannot be earned, but is a gift. Divine mercy is always ready to forgive, it is unconditional and does not attribute faults.

“And if you love those who love you, what thanks do you have? For also love the sinners who love them. And if you do good to those who do you good, what kind of gratitude do you have? The sinners do the same too. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive again, what gratitude do you have? Sinners also loan sinners so that they may receive the same thing again. But love your enemies and do good and lend without hoping for anything again! And your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. ”Luke 6, 32-35

In order to practice such mercy in our lives, we must first have experienced mercy from God ourselves. Experienced mercy of God fills us with thanks and joy. When we understand that we need God’s mercy, that we are weak and in need of help and salvation, and the great sacrifice God has made for us, then we can be merciful ourselves.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16

“Because God is so gracious, he saved you by faith. And that is not your own merit; it is a gift from God ”Ephesians 2.8

“Yet God is so merciful and loved us so much that he gave new life to us who were dead through our sins with Christ when he raised him from the dead. Only by the grace of God were you saved. ”Ephesians 2: 4-5

When we accept the gift of his mercy for ourselves, we grow in the desire to pass this gift on to our fellow human beings, and through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, we can do so too.

“Happy are the merciful, for they will experience mercy.”Matthew 5: 7

“Good things and mercy will follow me all my life, and I will abide in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23: 6

A new year

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

This year is going to end. We pause, look back at the past and think about good resolutions and plans for the new year.

If we look back on the old year, it must have been an extraordinary year for most of us. It was associated with new challenges, difficulties, changes, limitations and insecurities. Much of what we took for granted was no longer possible.

I also asked myself :

  • What can I be thankful for?
  • What was good? What challenges did I have to face?
  • What does God want to show me?
  • What was I happy about?
  • What made me sad?
  • Which changes have there been?
  • What has become important to me?
  • Where did I grow, what did I learn?
  • What must I learn?
  • What do I plan for the coming year?
  • What goals do I want to achieve and implement?
  • What wishes and visions do I have?
  • What plan does God have for my life?

Looking back on the past year, through all circumstances, there was one constant for me, one security, one unshakable truth:

“Immanuel, God is with us”

God was with me in all challenges, difficulties, changes, limitations and insecurities. God was with me in joy and sorrow. God was with me in my success and in my failure. God was with me in my wishes, visions and plans. God was there always and everywhere and so it was a good year for me. To look to Jesus, to look to him in all things, has filled my heart with peace, a supernatural peace that the world does not know.

“Don’t worry about anything, just pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him. You will experience God’s peace, which is greater than our human minds can ever comprehend. His peace will keep your hearts and minds in faith in Jesus Christ ”Philippians 4: 6-7

Thankful for his love and loyalty, his guidance, I want to go into the new year.

“Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget what good he has done you” Psalm 103: 2

Trusting in Jesus I can look to the future with hope and confidence and use my time wisely for everything that is really important. The past year also offered the opportunity to reflect on it and to realign our own priorities.

“Love God and your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22, 37-39

“Seek first after the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and everything else will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

I wish you all a blessed new year with confidence in God, hope, faith, gratitude and with his peace in heart.

The greatest present

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Giving presents is usual at Christmas night. We are happy when we receive presents and also like to make our family and friends happy. Gifts are a sign of love. The most beautiful presents are not the most expensive, but those that come from our heart. Time spent together, a good thought and the knowledge that someone is thinking of me are much more valuable presents to me than anything material.

But where does the custom come from that we give each other presents at Christmas? I did some research and found out that Martin Luther introduced this tradition. Originally, Christmas was not associated with giving. St. Nicholas used to bring presents on December 6th. Luther shifted this tradition to Christmas in the 16th century. On the one hand, because, as is well known, he did not think too much of the adoration of saints. On the other hand, he emphasized that the birth of Jesus Christ in the stable in Bethlehem is God’s greatest gift to us humans. Luther thought that when children receive a real, tangible present for Christmas, they are visibly reminded of God’s present. The message becomes “more tangible” for them. So it happened that today we give each other presents at Christmas.

The birth of Jesus is God’s greatest present to us humans. God gives himself, becomes human, in order to meet us and to be close to us. We are not indifferent to him, God is with us. Jesus! In him is love, forgiveness, grace, joy, light, healing, peace, reconciliation, security, hope and eternal life. And we can only accept this gift with our heart, accept it in our hearts.

“And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid! For, behold, I tell you great joy, which will be for all the people. For a Savior has been born to you today, who is the Lord Christ in David’s city ”Luke 2:10

The child in the manger is growing up and has a mission to fulfill. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the whole world.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that all who believe in him should not perish, but have eternal life” John 3:16

The prophet Isaiah foretold his gift to us more than 700 centuries before the birth of Jesus:

  • The “wonderful advisor”: Jesus guides and leads us through every situation and circumstance, he is our light. He can even work miracles for us.
  • The “strong God”: In Jesus we recognize the essence of God, his power, strength and omnipotence.
  • The “Eternal Father”: Through Jesus we have reconciliation with God and access to God the Father.
  • The “Prince of Peace”: Jesus brings peace between God and man. He gives us his peace that the world does not know.

Finally, with a short Christmas story, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Let us be fullfilled with the love of God and his priceless present to us.

The dream (author unknown)

Around Christmas a boy had a memorable dream. In it Jesus spoke to him and asked him for three presents. The boy immediately offered him his new piece of clothing, his electric train and his beautiful picture book. “No,” replied Jesus, “I don’t need any of that. I wish something different from you. Give me your last essay! ” – The boy was frightened: “But the teacher gave this essay a five!” – «That’s exactly why I want it. Bring me everything that is signed with “failed”. “Then give me your breakfast cup” – “But I broke it! “-” Do you want to give me everything that is broken and destroyed in your life? ” “Here is my third wish: I want you to bring me the answer you gave your mom when she asked you to bring her that cup.” – “But I lied and claimed that it fell down, although I had deliberately thrown it down.” – “Yes, I know,” answered Jesus. “Bring me all your lies, your disobedience, the bad you’ve done so that I can help you, forgive you, heal you and change you.” When the little boy woke up from this dream, it was suddenly clear to him why God became a man and why Christ was born as Savior of the world: To be able to change everything that has failed, destroyed and bad in us, and instead of it give us the wonderful present of eternal life.

Be light

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

Lights are one of the pre-Christmas traditions. Our streets and houses are lit and full of lights. We light a new candle on the Advent wreath every week and the Christmas tree is also decorated with shining lights.

We should not forget what is the meaning behind it and be aware of what the light reminds us of. All the lights that we light for Christmas bear witness to Jesus, who came into the world as light. He is the source of light, the light itself, the light of the world that illuminates our darkness. Its light shines brighter than the sun and illuminates our path.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my way. Psalm 119: 105

There is light in him and there is no darkness in him. God becomes human, gives himself and fills our life with his light, his love, his hope, his peace. Filled with its light, we shine and can become lights ourselves.

“You used to be darkness; but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. ”Ephesians 5: 8

In connection with him, if we stay in him, we can bring and be light because he provides us in abundance. In his presence our lights will not go out, but will flare up again and again. If we try to be and give light on our own, after a while we will tire and burn out and have no more energy. Just as a lamp has to be connected to the energy source in order to shine, so we have to be connected to God’s light source. How important this connection is for us, Jesus describes in the parable of the vine and the branch:

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine. Stay in me, then I stay in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains on the vine, so you cannot bear fruit either if you do not abide in me; I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and in whom I remain brings rich fruit; because apart from me you can do nothing. If you stay in me and if my words stay in you, then ask for whatever you want: you will receive it. ”And further Jesus says:“ As the Father loved me, I also loved you. Stay in my love! I ask you this: Love one another! ”

To remain in his love and to bring to the world his love is the mission that Jesus gives us. Don’t hide our light, but put it on a candlestick so that everyone can see it. How can we be light for others? We can be light by giving ourselves away. Here is a short story:

Story of a candle “Now you’ve lit me and look into my light. You rejoice in my brightness, in the warmth that I give. And I am happy that I can burn for you. If not, I might be lying around in an old box – no use. I only get meaning through burning. But – I know only too well – the longer I burn, the shorter I become, the more I am inclined to my end. You will say “burned down” and throw away what is left of me. I know there are always these two options for me: Either I stay in the box – untouched, forgotten, in the dark – or else, I’m burning, getting shorter, giving everything I have in favor of light and warmth. So I am bringing about my own end. And yet, I think it’s nicer and more sensible to be able to give something away than to stay cold and lie in the gloomy box …

With this in mind, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and I wish all of us that we will again and again become aware that the light of Jesus lives in us. So let us shine for others too by:

  • giving presents to our fellow human beings
  • offering practical help
  • praying for one another
  • blessing each other
  • passing on good thoughts
  • encouraging others
  • giving away our smile
  • giving our time write or call a letter / card
  • visiting lonely and sick people
  • listening to each other
  • Inviting someone
  • telling about Jesus, the light of the world

“Get up, be light; because your light is coming and the glory of the Lord is on you! ”Isaiah 60: 1

“You are the light of the world. The city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14 “

“For this is how the Lord commanded us:” I have made you the light of the Gentiles, that you may be salvation to the end of the earth. “” Acts 13:47

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a people owned, that you should proclaim the benefits of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2: 9

Advent – Expectations

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Advent has begun, a time of great expectation. We are preparing for Christmas and doing our best to make it as beautiful as possible. We decorate, bake biscuits, decorate the Christmas tree, buy gifts, look for recipes for the perfect Christmas menu and we want to have a good time with the family.

We also expect a contemplative, peaceful and harmonious time in which we can pause and come to rest. This year the Advent and Christmas season could be different from what we expect. The Christmas markets have been canceled, social contacts are restricted, large Christmas celebrations are canceled, travel is not allowed.

But what is really important? What is the Advent season actually about? Advent comes from the Latin and means “arrival”. We are preparing for the arrival of Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas night, and Advent also indicates the future coming of Christ.

“Prepare the way for the Lord” Isaiah 40: 3

Jesus is at the center, his arrival is the center of the Christmas message. With this in mind, I would like to organize the Advent and Christmas season. Remind me consciously that Jesus is looking for a place where he can arrive. Already 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph were looking for accommodation where they could stay. Many people turned them away until they finally found a place in a stable. There Jesus was born and Mary put him in a manger. God makes himself small, he was born in poor circumstances. God comes close to us humans and shows his love. He gives himself.

Even today Jesus is still looking for a place where he can arrive. He is on the lookout for people who will accept the gift of his love, who will open their hearts to him so that he can move in there. He is not expecting a decorated Christmas tree, gifts, or Christmas menu. What he wants is encounter and community, he wants to arrive in you and me. It is he who bestows us with his unconditional love, with his light, with his hope, with his consolation, with his joy, with his grace and with his peace.

“Behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people” Luke 2:10

“Because a child is born to us! A son has been given to us! He will take control. He is called “Wonderful Counselor”, “Mighty God”, “Eternal Father”, “Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9.5

This year in particular, in which this world needs new hope and new light, is the opportunity for the Christmas message to become increasingly important, for many people to become more conscious of it, to think about it and to go in search of God. When I think of the Christmas story, the three wise men from the Orient come to my mind. The Bible calls them magicians, a combination of scientists, philosophers and astronomers. They were looking for the truth. They looked for Jesus, asked questions, they observed and did everything they can to get answers and thus achieved their goal.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For whoever asks receives; and whoever seeks will find; and whoever knocks there will be opened. ”Matthew 7: 7-8

“Then you will seek the Lord your God. And you will find him if you ask about him honestly and with all your heart ”Deuteronomy 4:29

Light into the dark

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Light is vital for us humans, just as important as water and food. Light enables us to perceive our environment with our eyes, it controls many processes in our body, sleep and wake rhythm (internal clock), it influences our state of mind and our wellbeing. Sunlight provides us with vitamin D, which is responsible for building our bones. According to the latest scientific studies, sun rays prevent cardiovascular diseases as it lowers blood pressure.

Now in November, when the days are getting shorter and it is getting dark early, we notice how we long for light. During this time, I move my daily walk to midday or early afternoon so that I can still enjoy the last rays of sunshine. At home in the evenings, I like to make myself comfortable in the living room, turn on the fire and warm on the bench by the stove. I like to light a candle and watch its glow. A small light in a room can illuminate the whole room and dispel the darkness.

In the world too there is darkness, suffering, hardship, difficult circumstances and crises. In such situations we lack light, we can no longer see further, we have no orientation. The darkness robs us of joy and scares us.

But it is precisely in these moments that we can see a light. There is a light that illuminates the whole world, it cannot extinguish all the darkness of the world.

“I came into the world as a light, so that everyone, who believes in me, does not stay in the dark” John 12,46

Jesus is the light that drives away all darkness. Darkness must fade away in its light. Jesus brings light to dark winter days, his light shines brighter than the sun. Jesus brings light into our hearts, Jesus illuminates the way for us. Look at the light, turn to it and let it shine in your heart. Jesus’ light is stronger than anything that makes you sad or scares you. With Jesus the true light came into the world (John 1: 9-12).

“For with you is the source of life, and in your light we see the light.” Psalm 36:10

“The people who live in the dark see a bright light.” Isaiah 9: 1

Where we meet Jesus, the light, change, healing, restoration happen. We can flourish in the presence of its light. Jesus drives out all darkness. Even in difficult circumstances his light is consolation and salvation for us. With him we see everything in a different light. We don’t have to stay in the dark, the light lets us know God’s love for us. The more we live in his light, the brighter we will shine ourselves and so we can become little lights ourselves and pass on Jesus’ light to our fellow human beings. We shouldn’t keep it to ourselves, but let it shine for all people who are in the dark.

Christ says: You are the light of the world. So let your light shine before people so that they may see your good works and praise your Heavenly Father. Mt 5:14

Nobody lights a light and puts it in a secret place, not even under a bushel, but on the candlestick, so that whoever goes in can see the light. Luke 11:33

Unshakeable

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

Mountains are fascinating. When I explore the mountains in which I live, I am always amazed. On summer hikes I can see the majestic high hills, let my eyes wander into the distance from above and enjoy the wonderful view. I enjoy the mountain meadows, clear lakes and deep valleys. The peaks are covered with ice and snow. After a day in the mountains, I feel a little closer to heaven.

In the Bible we often read that people meet and experience God on the mountains. Even Jesus walked to the mountains to pray and to find rest.

The size, mass and height of the mountains are enormous. They stand before me irrevocably and immovably. It is impossible to move such a mountain, it has its permanent place. It is stable over many millions of years.

Here is a short story: “Once every thousand years – only every thousand years – a bird comes to a mountain. He sits on top of the summit. There on the rock this little animal whets its beak with a short, quick movement. Then the bird flies away again. When the whole mountain is scuffed, only a second of eternity has passed. That is consistency. “

In the Bible, in Isaiah 54:10, the Lord our Merciful says:

“Mountains may remove and hills may sway, but nothing can shake my love for you and the covenant of my peace shall not fall.”

What a wonderful promise. God’s love for us is even more permanent and unshakable than any mountain on earth. No matter what happens, mountains should shake, God’s love lasts forever and cannot be shaken. God is the eternal rock, the ground on which we can stand safely. His fidelity is irrevocable and his grace never ceases. We can build on him, we can rely on his word. He never abandons those who love him.

This verse strengthens my hope, my faith and gives courage in uncertainty and difficulties. May difficult situations burden me, no certainties, changes happen in my life, his love for me is that which remains and cannot be shaken by anything, come what may. God has made a covenant of peace with us. Through Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a human being to pay for our debts and who gave his life for us, we have peace, forgiveness and access to God.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

At the end a psalm:

My Help Comes from the Lord
1 A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 121

Future Prospects

Lesedauer 2 Minuten

What will the future bring? The media don’t predict anything good for us, one negative headline follows the next. A little virus keeps the whole world under its spell and messes up our entire lives. Every day the media keep us the latest corona numbers, the number of infected, sick and dead. Again and again new measures and restrictions to interrupt the wave.

  • How are you doing in this situation?
  • Does resentment, fear, worry or insecurity want to spread within you?
  • Do you have a queasy feeling when you think about your future?
  • Do you wonder if it will ever be the way it used to be?
  • Do you care for your health, for the health of your family?
  • Are you struggling with existential fears due to the economic constraints?
  • Do you feel lonely because you have to do without social contacts?

Nobody knows what the future will look like. There are many different opinions, forecasts, but ultimately nobody can tell us what will happen and how long this crisis will last. It doesn’t get us any further if we just focus on the problems and constantly torment ourselves with negative thoughts. Worries and negative thoughts do not help us.

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It keeps you busy but gets you nowhere. ” Glenn Turner

Instead of listening to or looking at the latest news over and over again, we’d better ask about who is holding our future in his hands. Do you know him? It is the God who created heaven and earth and who has a good plan in store for the world and for us humans. His truth is eternal, and we can rely on his promises. He is the only one who can say something about your and my future. You can read his promises in his word, in the bible. There are words of hope and confidence that drive away your fears, worries, resentment and insecurity and give you peace and new prospects for the future.

This is what God says in Jeremiah 29:11: “I have plans for you that are full of future and hope”

In Psalm 37: 5 it is written: Confide in the Lord and don’t worry about your future. Leave them to God. He’ll do it right. “

We can decide anew every day where to direct our thoughts. On our difficult circumstances or on God who has everything under control, who is omnipotent and omniscient and whose love for us is infinite

. “God my future is in your hands.” Psalm 31:16

“So don’t worry about tomorrow – the next day will take care of itself! It is enough if each day brings its own difficulties. ”Matthew 6:34

This is why you should focus your life on God:

 God knows you by the name (Isaiah 43: 1)
 God thinks of you Psalm (139:16)
 God is your refuge Psalm (62: 6-8)
 God fights for you in Exodus (14:14)
 God is always with you Matthew (28:20)
 God loves you John (3:16)
 God is your protection Psalm (119,114)
 God is your rock Samuel (22:32)
 God is your confidence and strength (Psalm 46: 2)

Keep peace

Lesedauer 3 Minuten

When my heart trusts in you
and i look at your love
I find peace, I find peace
I can defeat storm and waves
In the midst of turbulent times
Your presence will always be with me.
Even in the greatest uncertainty
with you is peace always.
My troubled heart becomes still and comes to rest
for the God who keeps my peace is you.
(Ulrike Nägele)



On the subject of peace, I recently read the following story:

“Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to give an award to the artist who painted him the most fitting picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all of the pictures, but there were only two that he really liked; he had to choose between them.

In one picture there was a calm lake, in which the peaceful mountain landscape towering around it was perfectly reflected. Above it a blue sky with fluffy white clouds spread out. Whoever looked at this picture must have thought it was perfect peace.

In the other picture there were mountains too, but they were rugged and bare, and above them a raging sky with flashing lightning and heavy rain. In the back of the picture a foaming waterfall tumbled down. None of this looked very peaceful. But behind the waterfall the king discovered a small bush that grew in a crevice. A mother bird had built her nest in the bush. There, in the midst of the raging water, the mother bird sat perfectly peacefully in her nest.

What do you think? Which picture won the award? The king chose the second picture.

“’Because peace does not mean,’ said the King, deeply moved, ‘to be in a place of perfect calm, free from anger and stressful work, but to remain calm in all of this. That is the real meaning of peace. ‹”

I like this story because it explains so well the real meaning of peace. Peace does not mean that the external circumstances are good, that there are no difficulties and problems to be overcome, that we have no challenges, but rather to find inner peace in the midst of stressful circumstances, uncertainty, chaos and turmoil.

Looking to Jesus we can come to this peace. In his presence there is peace, yes, he himself is peace. Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God.

Nothing and no one else can give us this peace. Trust in God is the key to that peace.



“I am restless, but by you is peace” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“In the daily rush, in our work, in all situations of natural life, it belongs to us: the unshakable, inviolable peace of Jesus.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

I found this peace in the presence of God, in a relationship with Jesus. I experience him in the community and the encounter with him when I direct my thoughts on him instead of looking at my worries or problems. And I want to chase after this peace again and again, because sooner than I thought, peace will be stolen from me again. In order to remain in his peace, I am allowed to come to Jesus anew every day, let him give me presents, unpack his gift of peace and accept it for myself. Every day I can make the decision to trust him completely, to focus my heart on him, to let go of everything that is difficult and to believe that he will keep my peace.



“I told you all this so that you would have peace in me. Here on earth you will experience many difficult things. But have courage, for I have overcome the world. ”John 16:33

“Do not worry about anything, but in all things let your requests be made known to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving! And the peace of God, which is higher than all reason, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. ”Philippians 4: 6-7