John 17: 6-11

“I have made manifest your name to those human beings who have come out of the world to me through you.  Yours they were, and you have given them to me, and they have kept your word in their inmost being.  Thus they have recognized that everything which you have given me is from you; for all the power of the word which you have given me, I have brought to them.  They have taken it into themselves and have recognized in deepest truth that I come from you, and they have come to believe that I have been sent by you.  I pray to you for them as individual human beings, not for mankind in general.  Only for the human beings which you have given me, because they belong to you.  Everything that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine, and the light of my being can shine in them.  I am now no longer in the world of the senses; but they are still in the world of the senses.  And I am coming to you.  Holy Father, keep, through the power of your being, those who came to me through you, so that they may become one, as we are one.”  *

The message of the High Priestly Prayer seems so simple: “They have kept your word in their inmost being.  Keep them through the power of your being.”

How do you do that—keep His word in a world of chaos and violence?  How do you create order in that chaos?  For us humans that looks like an impossible task.  It is even difficult to imagine that the angels will unravel all the knots.  They may have the patience of angels, but unraveling the chaos human beings bring about has to be a colossal job.  You can even imagine that the angels lose courage and sooner or later turn away from humanity with the message: “We can’t help you if you don’t help yourself and each other.”  In our time the danger arises that the angels will lose interest in human beings.

In the High Priestly Prayer, Christ prays for all who want to follow Him.  In this one sentence the task of all true Christians, wherever and whenever in the world, is expressed: “They have kept your word in their inmost being.”  Again, how do you do that?  For it can’t mean that we have to learn and remember every word in the Bible?

God waits and works in silence with more than the patience of an angel.  He works with divine patience to bring His word to manifestation in us.  No longer does He call us to order through commandments and prohibitions, but His word sounds in the still voice of our conscience, and in the strong voice of our destiny.  And even when this becomes fateful to us, even then it is still hiding the gift of the Lord of Destiny.

If we follow the voice of conscience, if we say yes to the voice of destiny, we have kept His word in our inner being and will be kept in the power of His being.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 26, 2024

* From: The New Testament, a rendering by Jon Madsen.


The Spirit of Truth

The longer you take part in the Consecration of the Human Being, the more astonishing it may be that the miracle of the Transubstantiation takes place every time.  Not just now and then, but every time anew.  True, our attention is but wavering and changeable, but nevertheless you always come back strengthened from the altar.  What causes that?  On the one hand, it is the words of the sacrament that give us strength.  Someone once said, when she was asked why she kept going back to the service: “Where in the world can you experience hearing for a whole hour nothing but truth?”  That is because no human words sound at the altar, but angel words.

But even more than by these words are we nourished and quenched by the meal of bread and wine that is permeated by the presence of the Resurrected One.  “Christ in you,” this promise is literally and bodily fulfilled in the Communion.  With the Peace, He touches us, just as He did after His Resurrection, when He spoke to His disciples: “Peace be with you.  Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 21:21-22)  These words marked the beginning of a new era: the era of the Spirit of Truth.  This Spirit was not only meant for the first followers of Christ.  He is meant for all who want to follow Him.

Just as the miracle of the Transubstantiation is enacted every day anew, the Spirit of Truth also wants to touch us every day anew, every time when at the altar the words sound: “The Peace be with you.”

Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 19, 2024


“I am the way and the truth and the life”  (John 14:6)

Attempt to live in the truth” is the name the Czech dissident Vaclav Havel gave to his inner compass in a society in which the lie rules.  He did not call it “living in the truth,” as if it had already happened but, with a modest expression, an attempt.  That word indicates that it is not a ready-made recipe that produces results all by itself.  If you could speak of a result at all, it could perhaps only be the power of the powerless.  Vaclav Havel several times had to pay dearly in prison for this attempt, because the authorities of his country could not bear the truth.

On the other hand, it does not take any effort at all to live in the lie.  That does indeed go all by itself in a society where the right of the strongest rules and you can just let yourself be carried by the masses.

Whoever makes an attempt to live in the truth has to walk a lonely road.  We can’t follow Vaclav Havel in this.  I have to go my own way, which no one can prescribe for me.  But when in all modesty I try day-in-day-out to make the truth a reality, I walk on the path of Him who says: “I am the way and the truth and the life.  I walk with you in your attempt to live in the truth.”


Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 5, 2024


North American Newsletter: Spring 2024

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