As we continued on, we drove past the National Museum of Namibia. We didn’t have time to go in.
When you look closer, you see the uniqueness of this building. It used to be a German fort from when Namibia was a German colony.
Frauenkirche is a large church. Very large. So large that when you come up on it and you want to take a picture, you can’t get the whole building in your lens.
Which actually worked out fine for my picture because there was a lot of scaffolding up on half of the church.
But when you walk inside, there’s a different story.
It’s actually a quite plain looking church. Which might be surprising considering that it serves as the cathedral seat of the archbishop and was the church that Pope Benedict served in when he was the archbishop here.
The church has the typical things you’ll find in big large European churches. Things like paintings and an altar. Yes, all the paintings are beautiful.
And beautiful stained glass windows.
I’m going to skip over most of that though to talk about some of the more unique things in this church. Things like this:
I have to say, these statues kind of creeped me out a bit. Especially the guy with the large stick. I quickly moved on.
I left scary statue guys and went down to the crypt.
They did a good job of making it feel like a crypt, didn’t they. There’s several people buried down here, a king and queen and other VIPs. The idea, it’s an old one, was that the rich and powerful would be buried closest to the altar so that at the time of the resurrection, when Jesus came back, they would rise first and see Christ first. So very nice, isn’t it? You know, just leave the part about Christ not giving a damn about your royal status aside, and a few other technicalities, like the priesthood of all believers. But other than that, makes senses.
Around the altar we see these plaques:
They are the coat of arms of the archbishops who have served in this church. I only took a picture of the last five. The middle one also includes Pope Benedict’s coat of arms. The statues above these are of different saints.
And last, but certainly not least, you have to have an elaborate tomb. Frauenkirche definitely has that.
You know you were someone when you have a dude with a sword protecting your tomb. And flags. And a temple like tomb. You know all the humble things that Jesus talked about. Definitely no contradiction with Christianity going on there.
Overall, Frauenkirche was one of the more interesting churches I have been in. It confirmed why I enjoy visiting churches. You’ll never know what you’ll find. The imagery teaches the theology. What you see tells you a lot about what is believed. Definitely worth a visit.
We ventured into the old German Church in Stockholm. It was beautiful, of course – full of white and gold and dark wood. All very elegant.
The organ in the back is of course amazing.
What you see if the altar, the kings box and the pulpit. Yes, the king had his own box seating. I guess church was the precursor to professional sporting events. Wouldn’t want the royalty to have to mix with the commoners you know.
And then there was this:
I don’t know what it is. However, it looks like something at the beginning of a PBS series – something like Sherlock Holmes or Piorot. You know, the person is there introducing the episode in a very stately manner.
Lots of gold, lots of wealth, lots of structure in this church. I’m willing to bet there aren’t many people attending on Sundays too. Wouldn’t want to many people to come in and mess things up now, would we?
As promised, here are my goals for 2015 – some specific for the blog and some more general to my life.
Before I list them, let me say why I make goals – because it works for me. I think it’s important to find a way for each of us to achieve what we are setting out to achieve. For some people goals work and for other, well, they don’t. If goals seem too intimidating, then use some other method that works for you. If you aren’t sure, there are two ways to deal with this – 1. try something and see how it goes. 2. look back at what worked for you before and do it again.
Without any further ado – my goals for 2015
1. Get a great internship site placement – This is really an important career/calling goal for 2015. All seminarians at LTSG have to go on internship in order to graduate. And if a person is going to go on internship, it might as well be a great location. We’re pretty flexible with this as a family when it comes to location – that happens when you pack up and leave the country for a year. But I want the site to be a great site where I can learn, try things, and gain some pastoral life experience.
2. Run in three half-marathons – I’m not sure if this will happen, but it will stretch me. I know of at least one half-marathon in May here in Helsinki. Part of this goal will be accomplished in knowing where our internship site will be so I can determine what half-marathons will be nearby.
3. Travel to Stockholm, Sweden, the Laplands and Germany. Stockholm and the Laplands are nearby and not too expensive to get to. Germany is our goal for June, but it will depend on how much money we have left at that point. And that depends on living costs, food, transportation, etc. So Germany is our stretch goal here.
4. Write a book about what I have learned about the church in Finland and how it relates to mission redevelopment in the US. I’ve learned a ton and have lots of notes so far with a great deal more to go. I’ve got to do something with all of these notes and things I’ve learned. The goal may change based on what advice I get about this, but the idea is to do something with what I have learned.
5. Do 20 speaking engagements concerning our trip to Finland and what I learned about the church here and how it applies to mission redevelopment. I have a few reasons for this – 1. it would be fun – yes, some people would rather die than speak in public, but I love public speaking. 2. The more you talk about something/read something/think about something/write about something – the deeper you delve into it and gain a different understanding about it. I also expect to receive a lot of questions for me to consider and ponder, which will help me delve in even further and understand what other people are thinking and care about. I know I’ll be writing plenty on this, but speaking is no guarantee, so this is a stretch goal.
There’s the list for 2015. There’s one more thing about this list – it’s not set in stone. I see it more as a guide, than something concrete that has to happen. The goal list gives me a sense of direction. But by not being attached to it, I am open to other possibilities.
Do you have goals for 2015 that you want to share? I’d love to hear what you have – you might inspire me or others.
So I started to learn Finnish officially. I say officially because I am taking a Finnish for Exchange Students class at the University of Helsinki. It’s going well. I am enjoying it and seem to be picking things up pretty well. I’m not to the point of understanding conversations, but I can pick up what numbers are being said, and a few questions that are being asked and a yes and a no here and there. Not too bad for the third class.
Languages are interesting to me. Now granted, I know English really well – it is my native tongue. And I have learned Koine Greek, but the problem with that is that it is a dead language and really only useful for reading the New Testament. I also know a few German phrases – important things like I’d like to order a pint of beer please and where is the bathroom. I also know a very little bit of Spanish, but not enough to even mention here.
It wasn’t always this way. I hated learning languages in high school and college. I didn’t see the point of learning them so long ago. Shame on me back then. Now I wish I would have taken it more seriously. I wish I was already fluent in Spanish and German. But, that’s how life goes. Sometimes we just have to learn from our mistakes. Thankfully, I can change things going forward.
Moi, Moi for now.
I want to invite us to pray together this Lent.
What do I see in the world?
God is good all the time
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