Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Behind every human being stands an unseen, unknown world. What we see and hear is but the person. In ancient Rome persona was the word for the mask through which an actor spoke on the stage. The word literally means: sound-through.

We are surrounded by masks, which usually speak in riddles—just as we do. Frequently, someone or something other than ourselves speaks through such a mask. Who is it that speaks through us when we want to enrich ourselves at the expense of others, or when we want to exercise power over other people? And who speaks through us when we dedicate ourselves to serve other people or a high ideal?

Whether we want to or not, with every word, every deed, every thought, we create or destroy, visibly or invisibly. Don’t look at the outside but listen for the “moral music” behind the words; try to catch the hidden language of the intention—and you will learn to recognize who is speaking through the per-sona.

Without realizing what they were shouting, on Palm Sunday people said the truth with the words “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mt.21:9)

He came in the name of the Lord.

And we?

As long as we only come in our own name, in our own interest, we disturb something in the world around us. Today this is happening on a large scale with the earth. We are confronted with the destructive consequences of our egotism and greed.

Wherever we go or stand, we can bless and be blessed. You don’t need to shout it from the rooftops, like the crowd did on Palm Sunday. You can simply come, think, walk in the name of the Lord, without even mentioning His name.

And He will give His blessing—a blessing none of us can give out of ourselves.

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, Palm Sunday March 28, 2021


I Do Not Condemn You Either (John 8:1-12)

I Do Not Condemn You Either (John 8:1-12)

Wherever we go or stand, everything and everyone demands a judgment of us—good or bad, for or against, yes or no. We even ask it of children: What do you think? From childhood on we have to have an opinion on everything.

Our judgments make it hard for us to observe with an open mind, let alone to find the truth. The harder we become in our judgments, the more we lose sight of reality. Hard judgments eventually become prejudices. And prejudices become unbending points of view. Whoever once takes such a standpoint, in the end he can’t make another step; he keeps himself imprisoned in a world of his own laws. In a world where differences are becoming ever greater, we tend to fall back on the Old-Testament judgment of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Only when we combat our superficial sympathies and antipathies do we begin to see the other—not the way we think he ought to be, but as he really is. Then only does the other feel seen and recognized: he has the right to be.

The story of the woman who committed adultery in John 8 speaks volumes about our deeply rooted inclination to judge and condemn. True, a thin layer of civilization keeps us from actually stoning such a person, but with our judgment on the guilt of others we stone them no less effectively.
And Christ? He was the only one who did things differently. He went to places on the earth where not only the shadow of guilt prevailed, but also the darkness of condemnation. It just is the way it is—sinners are stoned, literally or figuratively. He alone could say: “Whoever among you is free of sin, let him throw the first stone at her.”

He alone, the only one who is without sin, has the Old-Testament right to stone her—and He does not do it. Instead, He takes what is unbearable in our sin in His hand and writes it with his finger into the earth. That is another expression of the classic words: “See, the Lamb of God who takes the sin of the world upon himself.”

And when we want to find His light, the light of the world, there is no other way than to follow Him through the darkness of guilt. Without this darkness we are not able to recognize His light. And without His light we are not able to overcome our darkness.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, March 21, 2021




When you listen carefully to the words of the Act of Consecration of Man you will eventually notice that a few times something is lacking.  Although in itself the text is perfect, it sounds as if some sentences are not complete.  The verb is lacking:

Christ in us

Christ in the lifting of our hands

Christ’s light in our daylight

These sentences move in a realm between possibility, wish, and full reality.  Is Christ fully in us?  Or is that a wish? A prayer? A promise?

The only thing we know for sure is that He is usually not in us, when we are busy with our everyday things.

Christ in the lifting of our hands—that does not happen all by itself just by lifting up our hands.

Christ’s light in our daylight—it has not yet appeared, but we, He and I together, have to make this possibility a reality.

At this time of year, we enter a world of darkness that shows us from all sides: Christ is not in us—on the contrary.  For now, we find ourselves in a state of isolation and deprivation, far from the light of Christ.  Passiontide is a time of disillusion, of painful diagnosis of our human shortcomings, in which we have to accept how poor we are, since we lost the spirit.

Ask the Savior for healing.

Pray for Christ’s light in our daylight.

Lift up your hands as a beggar for the Spirit—and He will stretch out His hands to you.

Ask, pray, seek—and it shall be given to you.

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, March 14, 2021


“The Light of the Body is Your Eye” (Lk.11:34)

“The Light of the Body is Your Eye” (Lk.11:34)

A large part of our lives—maybe the largest part—consists of watching events without being able to do anything. That is true for the news the world dishes up for us every day; it is also true for countless events that happen to us. Natural disasters, illness, human tragedies, war and terror—they all put their stamp on the world, and we, powerless, can only watch. This powerlessness is our collective lot; and it is also a sign of this time. We have developed a spectator consciousness that has the tendency to keep looking, even when the situation asks us to act. “I stood there and watched.” No more, but also no less. Rarely do we realize that through our glance we can add something to the reality around us. How do we look at it?
One person’s confused gaze makes the darkness around him or her even more turbid than it already is, whereas another can light up the darkness with a lucid glance.

Of course this does not relieve us of the duty to act when we possibly can. But if watching is the only thing we can do, our glance has to be clear.

“The light of the body is your eye.”

Our eyes can do much more than watch: they can perceive. And if our inner light is sufficiently lucid, they can do even more than perceive clearly. They can add something to the reality:

A look of recognition
An enlightening insight
A stream of love.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, March 7, 2021



Youth Adventure Camps!

This summer, the Youth Adventure Camp of The Christian Community is going to the trail, to the beach, to the rivers. We will run outdoor adventure camps this summer with room for twenty participants on each trip.

Each trip will create an independent and full camp experience, with singing, stories and projects as well as the outdoors camping aspect of building our own camp, cooking our own food, and on some trips, traveling to our next camp location.

How to Heal? A Youth Conference
June 16 – 23, Atlanta, GA
For rising 9th – 12th graders

North Carolina Kite Camp
June 27 – July 3, Hammocks Beach State Park
for rising 6th – 8th graders

NY Backpacking Camp
July 12 – 21, Harriman State Park
for rising 6th – 8th graders

Youth Adventure Canoe Camp
July 26 – August 5, Flambeau River, Wisconsin
for rising 9th – 12th graders

Children’s Canoe Camp – Camp Greenwood Lake
August 8 – 18, Namekagon River, Wisconsin
for rising 6th – 8th graders

Click here to learn more about the trips or to register:

Participation cost is $1000
with a $100 sibling discount for each sibling attending

FINANCIAL AID: No one should stay away for financial reasons! Financial Aid is available on a need and availability basis. Email Youth Adventure Camp director Jen Zimberg at ccyouthadventurecamp@gmail.com


The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mt.17:1-13)

The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mt.17:1-13)

Each era has its own images of Christ.  Each of these images has its own one-sidedness, but maybe together they form the whole truth.  In the first few centuries of Christianity there were only symbols of abundant life and trust: the fish, the anchor, the shepherd.  Only in the third century the countenance of Christ was depicted for the first time—the countenance of the Risen One.  When humanity was wrestling with questions about death, He appeared in countless representations as the Crucified One—the Man of Sorrows.  And when there was nothing left but materialism, His image was reduced to Jesus, the simple carpenter from Nazareth.

Not long ago, a new image appeared, something that had not been seen in the history of Christianity before.  In a short time, this picture became famous and went over the whole world.  It is the sculpture of a poor man, a drifter, who is lying on a bench in the open air, covered with a coat.  Only his bare, wounded feet betray who he is.  “Homeless Jesus” is the title of this artwork.  This image tells us what we did to Him: in our society there was no place for Him anymore.  He has been banished from our daily life.  What can we do in our time to give Him a place where He is at home?


Only once in His life on earth Christ showed Himself in His true form, in the overwhelming appearance of His Transfiguration on the mountain.  When this image disappeared, the Father gave us a task for all time with the words: “This is my Son whom I love.  In Him I have been revealed.  Hear His word!”

Christ is no longer visible on earth.  He leads a hidden, occult existence.  But we can hear Him through the words He spoke, words that want to be weighed in our heart until our heart is moved by them.  Or by the still voice in us, the Christ voice of conscience.  Then we begin to walk with Him, and He with us.  If we listen to His voice, He will find a place on earth where He can live.


-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, February 28, 2021