Stand Up!

STAND UP (Lk.7:11-17)

Wherever we go or stay, we are everywhere surrounded by the dying earth existence.  Nearly a hundred years ago, when The Christian Community was founded, this expression, which sounds in our Creed, was virtually unknown.  Admittedly, death was very much present in the war that preceded the founding of The Christian Community, but a dying earth existence…?  At the time, probably no one could grasp the scope of this expression.

In our time, we all know in fact from our own experience what these words signify, even though there continue to be people who deny a crisis.  Wait but a few decades, and no one will be able to deny anymore that we are surrounded by the dying earth existence.

Not only is the earth around us dying, but also the earth we take into ourselves.  Everything we take in—food, drink, air, sense impressions, thoughts—has to die completely to be able to serve us.  We human beings are the cause of countless forms of death on earth.

An old legend tells that, after Adam was expelled from Paradise, at each footstep the grass withered under his feet.  In a certain sense, this legend has become reality.

Despite our leading role in this death process, through Christ—so says our Creed—we attain the re-enlivening of the dying earth existence.  Does that happen exclusively through Christ?  Or are there ways in which we can help Him renew life?  Christ bears and orders the life of the world.  How can we help Him bear and order?

Look into the world through the eyes of Christ—and the world appears in a new light.

Hear Him speak before you say a word—and your words will have wings.

Take Him into your thinking—and your thoughts will become more lucid.

Ask Him to go with you—and your feet will be guided.

And even though we are bound hand and foot to the dying earth existence, He will speak to us, even when we die: Stand up!


–Rev. Bastiaan Baan September 27, 2020

, ,

Michaelmas Sophia Festival 2020

The Christian Community in Melbourne Australia  is hosting a Michaelmas festival of 4 presentations in October.

There is no set fee for the online festival, but donations are welcome. For more information click here.

To register:




The Light Source of the Body (Matthew 6)

Our eyes have the capacity of adjusting themselves to darkness.  When we come out of sunlight into a dark tunnel or cave, we are at first disoriented. Or when we walk at night from a lighted street into a dark wood, we may perhaps be frightened by the darkness.  But if we do not lose patience we notice that our eyes gradually become used to the darkness, and that we begin to recognize the world around us.  This is actually the best way to overcome fear of darkness—walk step by step into a dark space; wait until you become familiar with the darkness, and you begin to see.

This is not only true in the physical world, but also a spiritual reality.  Every day we are confronted with a world of dark, horrific events.  As a rule, we don’t want to see them at all.  We turn away and try to force ourselves to look at the light side of life.  In our current western world there is even an aversion to every sort of darkness.  We turn away from the sick, the dying, the hungry, the refugees, the criminals.  We don’t want to see the dark side of life.  Or are we perhaps afraid of it?

When Christ spoke of the eye as the light source of the body, He was not telling a parable, but a daily truth.  It is not the bad world that makes us bad.  It is not the darkness outside us that darkens us inwardly.  But it is the way we look into the world that brings us darkness or light.

The question is not: What do I see?

But: How do I see?

Am I looking into the world with fear, with abhorrence, or even with hatred?

Or can I look into that same world with compassion and love, in spite of all the darkness?

This subtle way of looking not only illumines and relieves ourselves, but will eventually also illumine and relieve the darkness of the world around us.

A mother who had lost her two children wrote after a long period of rebelliousness, mourning and depression:

When I


and full of love

look at the darkness

then I see



–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, September 20, 2020


The Ten Lepers Cleansed

The Ten Lepers Cleansed (Lk.17:11-19)

The better part of our lives as adults consists of duties.  We have little choice: we have hardly finished our work, or when the next duty is already awaiting us.  Many people do little more than move from one duty to another all their lives.  And when a person scrupulously fulfills all those duties and tasks he is praised for his diligence.

No matter how diligent such a person is, he misses something that is indispensable.  We only become truly human when we add to all we MUST do something we WANT to do, without anyone telling us to do it.

When the ten leprous men had been cleansed of their illness by Jesus, they were told to go and show themselves to the priests.  That was the commandment in the law.

But one of them goes beyond the duty and does something of his own accord: he comes back to give thanks.  No one has told him to do so.  And it is certainly not just a formality he observes, for he falls prostrate at the feet of Jesus and thanks Him from the bottom of his heart.  You can’t bow down deeper than that.  You can’t be more convincing in your thankfulness.

All who fulfill their duty are cleansed.  But are they also healed?  Only this one human being, who gives thanks with heart and soul, hears the redeeming words from Jesus: “Your faith has made you well.” (RSV—Greek sesōken, saved)

And we, when we receive His medicine that makes whole, the Sacrament, are we then able to give thanks to Him with heart and soul?


-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, September 13, 2020


Sending the Seventy

Sending the Seventy (Lk.10:1-20)

During His life on earth, Christ often sent helpers ahead to each town and place where He would Himself come.  They are called disciples (literally followers) and apostles (from apostello, to send off).

Why was that necessary?

Would it not have been much simpler if He had done everything by Himself?  Everything these helpers did—healing, driving out demons, making peace—He also did Himself, and He did it very differently from his followers.  Only of Christ was it said that He healed with power, with exousia.  The disciples could not work without His help.  But He—why would He not be able to help without helpers?

The Bible is full of the longing for the Almighty, for the moment when Christ shows His full powers.  In the Apocalypse this moment is proclaimed by a mighty voice in heaven that calls: “Now is come salvation and strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.” (Rev.12:10). In chapter 19:6 this empowerment is confirmed with the words: “Alleluia: For the Lord God omnipotent has become king.”   Up to that moment kingship had been in other hands.  One day the prince of this world will have to yield the kingship to the rightful Lord.  But we are not yet there.

Christ asks each one of us: “And you—what can you do to help me?  Will you go before me and prepare the way?  Wherever you go, you can become my helper.  And if you go before me and prepare the way, I will go with you in silence and bless your weak, imperfect efforts—until one day the time of my omnipotence has come.”

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, September 6, 2020

Healing the Deaf Mute (Mark 7: 31-37)

Healing the Deaf-Mute (Mark 7: 31-37)

Illness is a good reason to see a doctor and ask for help.  Obviously, you don’t see a doctor if you show no signs of illness or weakness.  Following the same logic, many people do not feel the need to go to the altar and receive the healing medicine, either in the form of bread and wine or as spiritual communion.*  You might perhaps think: Why should I receive any medicine when I am not sick?  Or why should I go to the Act of Consecration of Man?  Why should I be consecrated?  There is nothing wrong with me!

As long as we look with earthly concepts at earthly human beings, there is indeed nothing wrong.  We can only be grateful when we are not sick or weak, blind or deaf.  But for the spiritual world we are sick, blind and deaf.  We have no eyes to see and no ears to hear.  In our daily life we even act as if there exists no spiritual world!

In the Act of Consecration we become conscious of our heavenly helpers.  Without them we would have no existence, no life, no consciousness.  That is why at the altar sound the words:

He moves in us through all existence.

Our life is His creating life.

Our beholding be drenched with His spirit light.

Only by looking up to the world above us do we begin to realize what we are lacking, no matter how healthy we are.  In the awareness of our human shortcomings we become beggars for the spirit and ask the Savior to heal us of our blindness, our deafness, our weakness.  When we receive the healing medicine He can speak the redeeming word:

Ephphatha – Be opened!

Because of the Act of Consecration we begin to lead a listening life.  We begin to understand the signs of the Lord of Destiny, so that our life becomes more and more a reflection of His creating life.

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, August 30, 2020

* In classical theology a distinction is made between sacramental and spiritual communion (communio sacramentalis and communio spiritualis).  St. Francis of Sales wrote: “When you cannot actually participate in the Eucharist, then at least do it in your heart and spirit by uniting yourself in ardent longing with the life-giving body of the Savior.”