Sunday 1 September 2013
As you gather for the 10.00am Eucharist in St Martin’s this morning I shall be in Berlin with our choir co-leading the Eucharist with a German Woman Priest at the Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche.
My father spent a lot of time in Germany in the army during the Second World War. He fought through France and Germany and spent two years after the end of hostilities clearing a large concentration camp. My own birth was postponed for about ten years because of the events of the middle of last century. The window in front of you would not be there if it were not for the bombing of London.
I am old enough to remember watching the news and hearing about people being killed in no man’s land between East and West Berlin. My RAF brother-in-law has a small piece of the Berlin wall to remind him. All our lives have been affected in some way by those events of 70 years ago. As I take part in the Eucharist in the centre of what was Hitler’s Berlin, I think my Dad would have been amazed.
Today I am in a beautiful city, with its magnificent Reichstag building, designed by a British Architect and a harrowing Holocaust Museum. The changes here, which have not been without all sorts of difficulties, are massive and the time scale so relatively short. Above all this city is a symbol of hope. The hope that humanity can find salvation. As the world stands again at the brink of more conflict it is easy to descend into hopelessness. However the Eucharist, which we share with you from 700 miles away, reminds us that God has come into the world to give us hope. In short there are three things that last, faith, hope and love. Greetings from Berlin.
Revd David Jackson