Last weekend our Cologne Project church family gathered for a time of fun, fellowship and workshops with our speaker, James Ros, on what it means to be a church family. James is on the leadership team of the Consultation for Church Planting and has recently moved to former East Germany to plant churches there. In his loving and personal he quietly challenged us from Scripture to foster our passion for the local church.
The New Reformation Tour I co-hosted in October reminded me once again of the huge potential Germany has to influence the world. We visited Wittenberg, where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church; Eisleben, where he was born; Erfuhrt, where he studied law and then theology after he decided to become a monk. We also made stops at Halle, whose sons include Georg Fredrick Händel and August Hermann Francke and at Fritzlar, where Bonifatius first brought the Gospel to the Germanic tribes. We visited Weimar, the home of Goethe and Schiller. We were reminded, however, that Germany also has the potential for horrendous evil as we visited the death camp Buchenwald, just outside of Weimar.
On the inside of the entry gate are the words “Jedem das Seine” which means "to each his own" or "to each what he deserves.” This was the Nazi's twisted take on an old Greek principle of justice - considering it a justification for murdering so many people. Franz Ehrlich, the inmate who designed the gate was a German architect who had been arrested for being a communist. In a subtle act of resistance, he used a Bauhaus style font, knowing that the Nazis deplored the Bauhaus style and considered it to be decadent, intellectual Jewish trash.
Today Germany is a modern, tolerant Nation taking in thousands of refugees fleeing the atrocities in the Middle East. This is a good thing. However, Germany is a nation that has left its Christian roots. Only about 3% of the population attends any kind of church regularly. Most of the people I talk to on the street or at my atelier have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Germany needs to see a new reformation sweep across this land and beyond. If God does a mighty work in Germany, we firmly believe that this nation could be the catalyst for the spread of the Gospel throughout all of Europe and the world. Please continue to pray with us to that end.
Also, please pray for C., a new church attender and member of our Thursday night small group. Last Thursday she expressed the desire to really get to know God and experience him. As we look forward to Thanksgiving, give thanks with us for how God is going to reveal himself in her life.
Jason and Sue