Some days are just special – even more than others. Today was such a day. I got up full of last night´s good meeting with those young English teachers from the States (Ohio, Carolina & Nebraska – if I remember correctly). We guys from Wittenberg: Micheline, Thomas and Vaclav were thrilled to have native speakers amongst us for a change. And to top things off, we were at the new venue for “English Stammtisch” in our Old Latin School. A perfect round number one. Looking forward to the next one next week.
So, when I got off to my running start, it was as if there was some bounce in my step. The cold didn´t matter. It was just 5° and the little moon that was left, threw only sparse light on our “Swan lake” (Schwanenteich), where Vietnamese do aerobics in the early hours. This time around, there were no vicious dogs, barking hoarsely and pulling at their short chains. That was another reason to the thankful but it didn´t add more bounce. I was already going as fast as I could.
Back in the Old Latin School and after cleaning up, going through meditations and chapel liturgies, I opened the big doors. I was out to see old St. Marys, greet the rising sun and rejoicing in another new day. This time around, there was a lone man reading our signpost. He´s a member of “SELK: Berlin Central”. His pastor (Rev. Johann Hillermann) had told him about our place and impressed on him, that he should check us out, when in the Luther city. So, there he was. I didn´t know his story yet, but invited him in. St. Mary´s only opens at 10h00, sometimes only at 11h00 in these days of Corona. So, there was plenty time. It was only just itching towards 8h00. Coffee would do perfectly in that cold and a little bit of milk too please if I may. Quickly we got talking and, in the end, – some two hours later and in good time for St. Marys – I had won a friend, made a few book sales, and heard some of the best news this week.
He sang the praises of their independent Lutheran congregation in the middle of Berlin – right where the wall used to divide East and West. He was a convert – and had joined the SELK once he moved from W. Germany to the capital. He spoke so highly of this Lutheran congregation and of his faithful pastor, that I recognized it as a good option if looking for a confessional church home in those secular parts. Even as the papers are full of declining churches in most places and we hear of dwindling congregations too often and far too much of less and less pastors – it was a tonic to hear of this faithful church in the middle of Berlin, where I already know the hotspots for Lutherans: Zehlendorf (P.Büttner) and Steglitz (P. Martens). Now, I´ve got even more reason to believe there´s truth in the local saying: “Aller guten Dinge sind drei!” (All good things are three!)
Well, my guest enjoyed his short visit in the Old Latin School and not just in the chapel. He looked all around and has promised to return with his family to stay over longer and visit our Sunday church service too. That was a wonderful start to the day and now looking back it just got better but that´s another story. So – be our guest – and pop in at the Old Latin School. There´s always something to cheer You up and calling You to join in our good God´s praises like Isaac Watts does for some time already:
- Come, let us join our cheerful songs
with angels round the throne;
ten thousand thousand are their tongues,
but all their joys are one.
2 ‘Worthy the Lamb that died,’ they cry,
‘to be exalted thus’;
‘Worthy the Lamb,’ our lips reply,
‘for He was slain for us.’
3 Jesus is worthy to receive
honour and power divine;
and blessings, more than we can give,
be, Lord, for ever Thine.
4 Let all that dwell above the sky,
and air, and earth, and seas,
conspire to lift Thy glories high,
and speak Thine endless praise.
5 The whole creation joins in one
to bless the sacred name
of Him that sits upon the throne,
and to adore the Lamb.