(07.06.2014) The heat shimmered this afternoon. While the grass was sizzling away outside, it was still pleasantly cool in the Olympic Hall. The room was completely filled. Everybody seemed to wait interested and tensely, for the lecture at 4.45 pm: „The kingdom of God is within us and around us”.
The speaker was a known monk of Benedictine who can reach the hearts of the people of various origins and life situations with his Christian lectures and books: Father Anselm Grün. He was welcomed by District Apostle Michael Ehrich, President of the New Apostolic Church.
The prominent guest started his paper with a salutation which connects all believers: brothers and sisters.
He said that one can see the lecture about the kingdom of God, as a beautiful sign of ecumenical Christianity. It is not all about who is right but about the common attempt to understand the words of Jesus. The thought of the kingdom of God can be considered from different aspects. The kingdom isn’t an externally localizable place but is right in the midst of the people.
First of all the theologian explained that there are different interpretations: a mystic, an ethical and an ecclesiastical interpretation of the term.
The mystic interpretation, it is all about that man must free himself from passion and desire. Where God dominates, man is really free. Part of it is that that one does not permanently take care of which impression one gives. It is rather necessary to be at oneself and therefore in the inner middle.
Anselm Grün said that in every single person there is a place which is light and complete, where no emotional violation can have access, where there is an inner place of refuge. This „inner room“, can be considered as the kingdom of God in man.
The environment, parents and education, left its mark on everybody, he explained further. Therefore it is important to free oneself from this inner picture of self-debasement or over-estimation of one’s abilities and to become original and authentic.
The mystic secret of God is a new experience and begs the question: Who am I?
As ethical interpretation he pointed to the duty of a Christian to do the will of God. This also means, to live according to his commandments and to consider this as challenge.
The ecclesiastical interpretation finally, means that the kingdom of God is coming nearer. This is shown today in a new working and living together. When a community meditates, prays and celebrates together, like now at the ICC, then people are connected to each other by the kingdom of God. Where people are together, there are however always conflicts. It is all about living the kingdom of God despite of conflicts. This central point can be achieved by means of forgiveness.
The father of Benedictine also dealt with the coming feast of Pentecost. The action of Jesus was not terminated with his death and resurrection. Until his return, it is task of all Christians to give testimony and to be active with that.
Finally he offered all attendees to conclude the lecture with a ritual, an evening prayer. These were moving moments when the approximately 12.000 attendees rose to form a silent prayer community with the father.