There once was a village in Bavaria

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

There once was a village in staunchly catholic and equally staunchly conservative rural Bavaria where every election netted the same solid absolute majorities for the ruling Christian Social Union party, the CSU. And so things went on for decades. However, much to the chagrin of the local dignitaries, there was also one vote for the communists. Just one. Each and every time the people were called to the polls. Just one vote – and of course the villagers had their theories about who that one communist was. Eventually, the conspiracy theorising focused on one particular guy who was a bit strange. An outsider. He had supposedly studied philosophy, which everybody knows is a subject studded with communists like Plato and Heidegger. Also, he was rumored to have been to the GDR at least once. So the villagers started to ostracize him, and they wouldn’t socialize with him –

Then it came to pass that the suspected communist had enough of this, and he packed up and moved away. And the villagers rejoiced, because now, surely, the communist threat was over.

But the next election came, and lo! and behold, there among the votes for the good CSU was that single communist vote again. And the villagers were aghast.

It was not until years later that, on her deathbed, an old woman who everybody knew was extremely pious and law-abiding, confided to the village priest that she was so pious that all her life she had made sure to vote for the communion party, which she figured was the holiest of the lot.

So what are the messages to be gained from this – btw. true – story? Maybe they work somewhat like this:

  • Not everybody who seems to support your political or religious beliefs and positions does so reliably
  • Not everybody who dissents with your positions is an enemy
  • It may not be a good idea to confuse political and religious opinions and beliefs, though we should of course follow our convictions, and the teachings of Jesus.
  • This coming Sunday, if you have the right to vote in this country, whether it is your adopted or your native country, or somewhere in between, make sure you cast your vote, and make it count. This is going to be the most important election in many decades, one that decides over how bad the future is going to be, and how uninhabitable this planet is going to become, from the dried-out mountains of Afghanistan and the wildfire regions of California to little villages in the Alps.

The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives…

  • sometimes serious and sometimes with a bit of humour
  • inspired by all facets of life: bible passages, current politics, poetry, encounters with friends & strangers, nature observations or a recent Sunday sermon
  • written by ordinary people from all walks of life: stay-at-home mums, university professors, retired ladies and gentlemen, full-time missionaries or the kids from children’s church
  • reflecting all sorts of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities

Each week’s text reflects the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.

We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.

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