Monday, 29 May 2017

Breaking bread together in Luther's Wittenberg

Archbishop Thabo wraps up his reflections on the German Kirchentag after preaching at the Festive Service in Wittenberg to celebrate 500 years of the Reformation: 



Day 5

Sunday was an amazing day. The Kirchentag organisers were happy with attendance, estimated at 120,000. The atmosphere was exhilarating and the celebration of Mass solemn, even in a stadium.

There were altars pitched throughout the stadium, each with a tree branch and a group of clergy and laity concelebrating. Could this be the real meaning of breaking bread together, little altars where the people are?

It was an honour to be the preacher. The 700 trumpets and massed choir and orchestra filled the whole place with a spirit of awe and wonder. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German head of state, spoke to applause, as did the regional premier, the mayor of Wittenberg, and representatives of ecumenical partners, the Roman Catholic and Baptist churches.

The sky was blue and for a short period a rainbow appeared. May we be radical even as we share our love for justice and Christ's sake. We travel back to South Africa on Monday after one more interview. Thank you to all of you reading this blog for your prayers, I hope you have found my  reflections useful in assisting you to pray for me in this ministry.

Archbishop Thabo with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany.


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