Every human being has a flame, that must not be quenched. Perhaps we should really say: Every human being is a flame, that must never be quenched. This is the flame with which we come out of the fire of the spirit when we are born. It is the greatest art of all to keep this fire burning our whole life long—not only in joy, but also in grief; not only in strength, but also in weakness. Also when you are sick, even if you are mortally ill, the fire can still smolder under the ashes.

There are, however, countless ways to choke this flame and extinguish it. The material world can make a slave of us, a slave of money and possessions, of power and violence, of intoxication and addiction, which make us forget what our task is in this life.

John, the greatest among all human beings, fore-lived, fore-suffered, and fore-died for us how we can keep the inner fire burning. Always, down to our time today, he has been “the burning and shining lamp” (Jn. 5:35), who gives us a radiant example of how we can preserve our flame. In one word John sums up what we need to do: Metanoeite, which means: Change your hearts and minds. (Mt. 3:2) This flame word tells us: Do not stop moving on the way. The flame can only keep burning if every time again you dare leave behind whatever threatens to chain you to the dying earth existence. With this disposition you will one day rise out of the ashes like a Phoenix.

Mensch, so du etwas bist                                         Human Being, if you are truly something,
So bleib ja nur nicht stille stehen.                         Then do not stay there standing still.
Man muss von einem Licht                                      From one light you must go
Fort in das andere gehen.                                        Forth to the other light.
(Angelus Silesius)

–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, July 9, 2023

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“He must increase, I must decrease.”

The ego is the shadow of a great light.  In a world where egoism reigns supreme we often imagine: the ego, that am I.

But if that is the only reality, what is then left of us at the end of our life?  When someone becomes old and decrepit, gradually all the capacities disappear on which our ego is based.  Nothing happens of itself anymore, until we eventually become dependent on the help of other people.  The light of self-consciousness weakens, flickers, and goes out.  What is then left of us?

What is left on earth is what we call the mortal remains, an empty husk that soon falls apart.  Earth to earth; ash to ash.

But death is much more than the inglorious end of life on earth.  It is the time when the wheat is separated from the chaff.  As the shadow of the ego fades, the light of the Spirit grows.  Christ stands at every deathbed and receives the harvest of every human life.  Only then does the dying person recognize: Christ is the light of my shadow.

Countless people live as if there will never be an end to their ego, until the irrevocability of the end of life cannot be ignored anymore and there is no longer a way back—only forward, through the eye of the needle.

We don’t need to wait for that moment.  We can also try, in the midst of life while we are fully engaged in our everyday existence, to begin to walk this way forward.  Then we begin to realize: I am very small, and the world that stands behind me is very large.  The greatest of all people on earth, who became the smallest of all, let the light of his shadow manifest with the words: “He must increase, I must decrease.”

Then only, if these words are fulfilled in life and death, is the promise fulfilled: “Christ in me.”


Rev. Bastiaan Baan, July 3, 2023.


St. John’s Tide

“From You come light and strength,

To You stream love and thanks.”

These two sentences from a children’s prayer[1] encompass everything that is divine service and human service—or rather, should be.

God serves His creation ceaselessly with light and strength.  Not only the inexhaustible light of the sun and the life forces of nature, but also the light of our consciousness and our life forces—we owe it all to Him.  God’s religion—that is His creation.

The only appropriate answer to this gift is love and thankfulness.

Light and strength from God—love and thankfulness from the human being.  That is the golden chain that connects us with each other.

As long as humanity has been conscious of its origin and future, people have served God with this answer at all the altars on earth.  Perhaps this time, our era, is the only one in the history of humanity in which it is no longer self-evident to serve God in this way.  We no longer realize to whom or what we owe the light of our consciousness and our life forces.

Our sciences teach us that the laws of physics and chemistry carry and order life on earth.  Our daily existence is the product of these sciences, which teach us to act quickly, efficiently, purposefully, and especially to make a profit on everything.  But if love for God and thankfulness to God die out on earth, the golden chain is broken.  What will then happen on earth?

Are we perhaps already seeing the consequences of our lovelessness and our thanklessness in the mirror of nature, which is falling into chaos?  Or is nature, God’s creation, His answer to the chain that is broken?

Be that as it may, if there is anything that is lacking in our chaotic era, it has to be our answer of love and thankfulness.  And if this answer does not come from all of us, as it did as of old, then at least from some places on earth where individuals gather at the altar to profess with heart and soul:

“To the Father God shall stream our soul’s devoted and heart-warm thanks.”[2]

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, June 2023

[1] Verse for the children in the first grade of the Waldorf School.

[2] From the Epistle of St. John’s Tide.



If there is anything that binds us to the earth, it has to be the thirst for existence.  It shows itself in countless forms, not only in hunger and thirst for food and drink.  Whenever we walk through the streets of a city we will quickly recognize how the thirst for existence dominates our lives.

Although Christ’s realm is not of this world, during His life on earth He knew hunger and thirst, longing and temptation, hardship and pain.  He is the only one of all the inhabitants of heaven who knows earthly existence and all the temptations it brings, out of His own experience.  “Give me to drink.” (Jn 4:7)  It sounds not only in the heat of the day, but to the bitter end: “I thirst.” (Jn 19:28)  The angels know nothing about this.  Even the Father doesn’t.  None of them ever became a human being of flesh and blood.

The Risen Christ no longer knows hunger and thirst for earthly substances—but it is His thirst for our existence that makes Him long to be with us, all days, to the fulfillment of the world.  His meal is not only the most precious gift on earth, it is also the most precious gift we can give Him.  “I thirst.  I only have what people give me.  I take nothing.”  Thus someone heard Him speak in His longing to share the meal with us.[*]

What a surprising expression: He wants to share with us the meal He bestows on us.  In this game of giving, taking, and sharing the enigmatic word becomes real, which He spoke as a promise for the future: “The water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:14)

Only if I give myself to Him as He has given Himself to me, the meal is fulfilled and his thirst for our existence is quenched.

-Rev. Bastiann Baan, June 11, 2023

[*] Gabrielle Bossis.



Everywhere in nature presence of Spirit reveals itself.  Wherever you look, everything is ordered and arranged according to wise laws of nature, in which every plant, every animal forms an indispensable link in the whole.  We are hardly able to unravel some of this perfect order in the science we call ecology, a word the literal meaning of which is: logic of the household of nature.  Nothing in this order seems to be left to chance.

Our human order is child’s play compared with the perfect laws of nature.  In our lives “ecology” is often hard to find.  True, in our origin we were made in God’s image, but this primal image is disformed and mutilated again and again into God’s counter image, the unholy spirit.

At Pentecost, Christ wants to send the Spirit into our souls—provided we make room for the Spirit.  His presence of Spirit needs our presence of spirit.  And if there is no space for Christ in us, the breath of the Spirit blows to other places on earth.  The Spirit blows not only where it wills, but also to the dwelling places we prepare for it.

For this reason the Holy Spirit is also called the Paraclete—this means literally “the called one.”  May our prayer, the great prayer of the Consecration of the Human Being, become a flaming call for the Spirit, so that He can find a lasting home in our community!

Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 28, 2023


The Ruler of This World

Wherever and whenever you look around you, the ruler of this world is always present—so prominent, so overpowering that the hidden power of the good is mostly really hard to find.  It sounds so simple in the last words of Christ, and it is so difficult to recognize in our daily existence: “…the decision has already been made about the ruler of this world.” (Jn. 16:11)  It often looks as if the ruler of this world has free play.

Only when you try to imagine what Christ did when He stood face to face with the adversary power can you begin to understand these enigmatic words.  How did He look?  What did He see?  He saw a deformed being, a demon, estranged from his origin and purpose.  Christ Himself, through whom “all things came into being” (Jn.1:3), recognized His creature.  And the demon recognized his origin and purpose—and surrendered.

We human beings are still far from able to vanquish the ruler of this world on our own power.  But together with Christ we can subdue him.  One of the psalms says it with the words:

With the Lord on my side I do not fear
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side to help me;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. (Ps. 118: 6-7)

Watch the adversary power, together with Christ.  Look at the world through the eyes of Christ—and the ruler of this world will recognize his Lord and Master.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, May 7, 2023


Pay Heed To How You Listen (Lk. 8:18) 

In a world where everything tries to make us seeing-blind and hearing-deaf it is necessary to look and listen with open eyes and ears.  And these days that is not so simple.  Cunning techniques make it possible to twist visible reality into lies.  But with the spoken word this is more difficult.  The human voice cannot conceal itself.  To hear what is really meant you have to learn to listen right through the words.

“Pay heed to how you listen.” (Lk. 8:18)  This instruction from Christ is a key to the reality behind the words.  Whenever a person speaks something always sounds through it.  (The Latin word persona (per-sona) literally means sound through.)  What or who is sounding through when we speak?  A blind person, who had developed the art of listening to great perfection, called this the moral music of the voice.  The art of listening gives us the capacity to distinguish the voice of a stranger from the voice of Christ.

The Consecration of the Human Being is pre-eminently the place where we can develop this ability.  Someone who had attended the altar service for many years said once: “Through the Consecration of the Human Being I have learned to lead a listening life.”

“Pay heed to how you listen.”

And if we not only listen to others, but can also inwardly listen, we will begin to recognize His voice also in ourselves.  That is the Christ voice of conscience which wants to lead us like a shepherd through all the trials of life.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, April 23, 2023


“Peace be with you! (John 20:19-20)

“Peace be with you!’

And while He said this, He showed them His hands and His side.” (John 20:19-20)

Christ is the God with the wounds.

If there is anything that distinguishes Him from all beings in heaven and on earth it has to be the wounds in a perfect resurrection body.  Wounds are plentiful among people on earth—but no human being on earth is yet risen.  Countless deceased rose after Easter—but no deceased has wounds like His.

To demonstrate to his unbelieving followers that this is His identifying mark, Christ shows them His hands and His side.  If that does not suffice, they may touch His wounds.

Hundreds of years later St. Francis sees in a vision an overwhelming light figure that tells him he is Christ.  St. Francis looks right through the impressive figure and says: “My Lord is lowly in appearance.  Show me your wounds.”  Thereupon the devil flees, who for the occasion had shown himself like a wolf in sheep’s clothes.”

Christ is the God with the wounds.  When He shows His wounds the words always sound: “Peace be with you.”  When we hear these words at the altar He wants to let His breath stream into us to recreate us in His image and likeness.  His peace is not of this world.  He has wrested Himself free of pain, of death, and of demons.  This most precious gift of life out of death He wants to share with us, so that we bear His peace in us—even in a world of pain, death, and demons.


Rev. Bastiaan Baan, April 16, 2023


Nourishment which Endures (John 6:27)

Do not put your efforts into acquiring the perishable nourishment, but the nourishment which endures and leads to imperishable life. The Son of Man will give it to you. (John 6:27)

If there is anything that binds us to the earth, it is eating and drinking.  We have hardly satisfied ourselves, and hunger and thirst are back again.  They accompany our earthly life from our first breath to the last, not only in the literal but also in the figurative sense of the word.  The thirst for existence is never quenched.  Even when we have died, this thirst sooner or later brings us back to the earth, where we still have something to do.

Hunger and thirst also accompanied the life of Jesus Christ on earth.  “I thirst”—it was one of the last words on the cross.  With this prayer and the bad aftertaste of a bitter beverage He died.  But also after His resurrection His hunger and thirst burn for what only we can give Him.  Someone once heard Him say: “I am thirsty.  I only have what I am given.  I take nothing.” [*]

That is also His question to us in the enigmatic, contradictory words from the Gospel of John: “Do not put your efforts into acquiring the perishable nourishment, but the nourishment which endures and leads to imperishable life. The Son of Man will give it to you.”  How can Christ ask us for something He Himself gives us?

In the language of the altar this gift, which He gives and asks at the same time, is called the communion.  It is much more than a gift.  It is also His entreaty: “What can you give me?  Can you give yourself to me, now that I have given myself to you?”

Only if I give myself to Him is the meal He wants to share with us perfect.  Only then is His thirst for our existence quenched.


–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, March 19, 2023

[*] Gabrielle Bossis, Jesus Speaking: Heart to Heart with the King, Pauline Books and Media.


The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mat. 17:1-18)

The Transfiguration on the Mountain (Mat. 17:1-18)

Never in the life of Christ on earth was the contrast between height and depth, between light and darkness, greater than at the Transfiguration on the mountain and the drama that followed it.  He had only just appeared in His true form on the mountain when at the foot of the mountain He was confronted with diseased humanity that brought Him to despair.  “How weak are the hearts of men, and how distorted the image of man has become in them.  How long must I still be with you?  How long must I still bear you?”

This shrill contrast is the distinctive hallmark of Christ and of those who want to follow Him.  Church Father St. Augustine once expressed it most succinctly with the words: “The history of Christianity takes its course between the persecutions of the adversary powers and the consolations of God.”  This is true not only for Christians, but also for Christ Himself—to be lurched this way and that between persecution and consolation, between transfiguration and temptation.  Not only is this His destiny, but it is also His self-chosen destiny, no matter now hard that sounds.  For after His resurrection He gives Himself the answer to His desperate question: “How long must I still bear you?”  “I am in your midst all the days until the completion of earthly time.”

In the Consecration of the Human Being we ascend the mountain.  The mountain—that is the altar.  The Latin words alta area mean: raised area for offering.  Even though we do not see it with our eyes, it is the place where Christ appears in His true form,  Every time the bread and wine are raised in His name, Christ is transfigured again.  Every time we receive the holy meal we can say with Peter: “Lord, it is good that we are here.”  And every time the holy act has been fulfilled He descends from the mountain with us, from the consolations of God back to the persecutions of the adversary powers on earth.


–Rev. Bastiaan Baan, March 5, 2023