2020-12-24 - Christmas Eve - Pfarrerin Nicole Otte-Kempf

( Sermon Isaiah 11:1-10 ) [ German Sermon ] [ Announcements (German)824.91 KB ]

Every year in the time of advent and Christmas he suddenly stands in front of the door. He rings the doorbell long and loudly, whether it suits me or not. 

He then pushes his way through the door and into our house. 

He sits down on the couch with me. Together we look at the candles of the advent wreath or at the decorated Christmas tree, no distancing, no mask, not even this year. He softly joins into the Christmas carols. Then he wants to take me into his arms but sometimes I resist. It always hurts a little to take him into the arms. Sometimes I become sad and feel like crying. 

He is the yearning. 

He turns up every now and again, sometimes also during the course of the year. But every year, at the latest over Christmas he arrives without prior announcement. 

It is his feast! he says. 

And I know that he is right. 

If he sits next to me, I remember Christmas days of times gone by. 

I see candles, lights on the tree and the darkness in front of the gate, I think of the people out there and I feel my helpless yearning for peace, for the horrible news from around the world to fall silent, for singing and loving, forgiving and laughing. 

Not only for myself. But also for the others. 

And everywhere around the world. 

Perhaps he will also come to visit you this year over Christmas and perhaps he will take a seat next to you on the couch. Because it is his feast, he says. 

And then the yearning will talk of a healed world, of feeling at home and of the people that you would so much wish to join right now. Over Christmas he always comes to visit many people. And particularly this year. He will sit in church or next to you on the couch when we hear the story of Mary and Joseph, of the angels and shepherds, and he tells us how love conquers hatred, 

how what is small and vulnerable gains meaning, 

and how power, wealth and violence no longer determine everything, 

how people find their way to one another, find hope for tomorrow and beyond: peace on earth among those with whom he is pleased! 

And he also speaks about God. How God intervenes and saves and turns everything to the better. And then he moves something in us and wakes up something deep inside ourselves. 

Pain about that which is. But also hope and a prevision of what it could be one day. Sometimes he sits with me for quite a while, this yearning. 

He also visited Isaiah. And he held him in his arms and cried on the couch of destruction, war and suffering, hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. And, in Isaiah, words started developing, words full of yearning, words of peace in the world, between animals, between people and with God and words of the one who will bring this peace. 

Something new will come, this yearning tells Isaiah on his couch of destruction, and the yearning speaks of God that intervenes and saves. 

Isaiah felt it clearly: this yearning is speaking of God. 

It is God’s yearning that fills this world, like water covers the sea. 

God in heaven feels this yearning. God is this yearning. 

And there in Bethlehem he also came for a visit. 

He came down from heaven together with the angels, 

and touched the hearts of the shepherds on the field, 

called the wise men from the east, 

lay in the cradle moving arms and legs, 

reaching out for love and closeness. 

Small and vulnerable and yet big and bigger than all else. 

God’s yearning is personified. 

God’s yearning is personified in this one person. In Jesus. 

Every year over Christmas he comes to me. 

God’s yearning. Sometimes he just pushes his way through the door and sits down next to me on the couch. 

And when he puts his arm around me 

I feel pain, but also much more. 

It feels like home that I will find one day. 

And I feel hope and closeness, 

I feel how what is small and vulnerable becomes important, 

and how love overcomes hatred. 

I feel peace and justice 

and God who speaks. 

He also comes every year to visit you. 

This year, too, when we celebrate Christmas different from other years 

and some of you may be sitting alone on the couch. 

Then this yearning will come to visit you, 

God’s yearning, 

and will sit down by your side, will put his arm around you 

and will tell you about wolves and lambs grazing together in peace 

and about children playing at snakes’ holes, 

and about something new that will grow 

and about peace on earth, 

and about the One who is. 

It is his feast, he says. This yearning. 

And then he stays there on the couch. 

Because: God’s yearning is personified. 

You are God’s yearning. Amen. 



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