Saturday, July 23, 2011

Risen Christ over Altenau

On a rocky outcrop, above a small park, stands  the village church of St. Nikolai. Built of timber  in 670, it is a smaller version of the famous  Marktkirche in nearby Clausthal.
A weathervane, atop the bell tower, represents Christ Risen from the tomb. Inside the lavish,  but by comparison with rococo Catholic baroque churches, restrained Lutheran Baroque has Christ arisen, above the pulpit.

With this altar piece I had finally discovered a church interior that perfectly complements the baroque music of Handel's Messiah

It was good to find the church doors open and a warm welcome from the Christian community that meets there .
Like many of our Norfolk Churches they welcome visitors and seek to share their faith with those who respond to their invitation to stop and rest a while.

Back in 740 AD when St. Boniface, Walburga and others were doing their thing spreading the Gospel to the, then, heathen Germans,  King  Alfwald wrote to them assuring them of the prayers of the royal monasteries of  East Anglia.

It looks like their mission has born plenty of fruit. So much so that they can teach us a thing or two!

As I contemplated the altar piece of St. Nickolai's church I wondered where I placed preaching in the life of the church? Above the sacraments, as the pulpit was above the altar here?
And what about the Risen and Glorified Christ? So often we English put the cross above everything . But surely above the Cross and defeat is Resurrection and victory!  In the quietness of that holy place and in the stillness of my mind, my heart danced and sang to Handel's  Alleluia Chorus!

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