“For christ, i am not a number”

A bishop's word every day in Advent: today from Archbishop Werner Thissen, Archdiocese of Hamburg: "It was in Advent last year, but now in Advent I have to think about it again. I had explained in a sermon what Christ means to me."

"That I can't imagine living without Christ. If I imagine for a few moments that Christ does not exist, no sacraments, no word of him in the Bible, no response from me in prayer and action, no experience of his nearness, no longing for him, no hope of eternal life – well, what then?? I had asked something like that. If that were the case, I added, then my life would be lacking something decisive, then my life would be without taste, without power, completely arbitrary. Without Christ, my life would have no direction, then it would go around in circles and wear out more and more. But with Christ I know that I am being addressed, I am being addressed personally. He calls me by my name, that means he is interested in me. For Christ I am not a number, not a tiny cog in a huge machine. He knows me with my worries and questions, with my expectations and joys. And: He likes me. After the service a young couple was waiting for me. Obviously, the two had already figured out their question together: 'How do you,' they wanted to know from me, 'come to such a life?I congratulated them on this question and casually mentioned that my relationship with Christ also began with a question. Stay with your questions," I told them, "and don't suppress the longing of your heart.That is Advent for me: Staying with my questions, not only in thought, but especially in prayer, staying with my longing. Then I realize anew: without Christ my life is empty, always the same, without a goal. With Christ I have a goal. With him I have a future. What a quality of life. I wish you, dear listeners of this site, that you experience something of this quality of life during Advent. Yours, Werner Thissen, Archbishop of Hamburg."

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