When did you feel most dressed?

Leave the preliminary

From the archive (November 13, 2014)

Sermon text on the penultimate Sunday of the church year (November 16): 2 Corinthians 5, 1-10 in selection 1 Because we know: if our earthly house, this hut, is demolished, we will have a building, built by God, a house , not made by hands, that is eternal in heaven. 2 For that is why we sigh and long to be covered with our dwelling, which is from heaven, (...) 6 So we are always confident and know that as long as we live in the body, we are far from it the Lord; 7 for we walk by faith and not by sight. (...) 10 For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ, so that everyone receives his reward for what he has done during his lifetime, be it good or bad.

Simone Rasch (44) is parish priest in the Evangelical Lutheran parish of Herringhausen, Herford parish.

When walking the dog, I pass an abandoned house in the middle of a residential area every day. The heirs do not agree, and so the house is empty after the death of its owner. Nature is gradually reclaiming the property: the lawn is knee-high and is now growing between the slabs of the path. Behind a window the remains of a withered houseplant can still be guessed, like a witness of earlier life behind these walls. Now a little more plaster peels off the walls after each winter. A sad sight. ## Why do you just let the house fall into disrepair? I ask myself that every time I walk past it. Without residents there are only dead walls where people should actually live, love or laugh. There is no life, the soul of the house. I would prefer this dead house to be demolished before it deteriorates any further. “If our earthly house, this hut, is demolished, then we have a building, built by God, a house, not made with hands, which is eternal in heaven”, Paul writes to the church in Corinth (verse 1). Here, too, it is a question of a house that is ready to be demolished. But Paul doesn't mean our home, but our body. The body is the house of the soul, a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) as long as we live. So we should "maintain" it and handle it carefully so that our soul feels like living in it (after Teresa of Avila). But right now, at the end of the liturgical year, we should remember that our body is just an earthly hut that has to be demolished at some point. At some point there will come a time when we will “feel like leaving the body and being at home with the Lord” (v. 8). As Christians, we believe in survival after death. To the immortality of the soul. When the body is tired and old or plagued by illness, then it is time to return home to a "building built by God, a house not made with hands, which is eternal in heaven". A symposium on the subject of “Infinite Consciousness” in March of this year in the Steinfurt-Coesfeld-Borken parish was about near-death experiences. One woman said how liberating it felt to step out of her seriously ill body into a room of light and full of peace. That's why she is no longer afraid of death, because she knows that she can then return to this place where she felt so comfortable. A medical professional, also an expert on near-death experiences, commented on this report by saying, “We modern humans believe we are bodies and we have consciousness. In reality, however, we are consciousness and have a body. ”What makes us what we are is eternal. The body is just the earthly shell that we will strip off at some point. Or in the words of Paul: The soul longs to be clothed with the Eternal and to leave the earthly behind (v. 4). This is not a morbid longing for death. But a longing for life, for true, genuine and eternal life that does not know death. Letting go of everything temporary and ephemeral. The trees in autumn show us how it is: they let their leaves fall and then awaken to a new life after the rest of the winter. Just like Paul, they teach us not to cling to the earthly and to accept impermanenceinstead of fighting them. Because at home, really at home, we are with God.