Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Message by Mother Basilea Schlink

Klara Schlink, was born at Darmstadt, Germany on 21st October 1904. After finishing school in Braunschweig and Darmstadt, she was educated at the Fröbelseminar in Kassel, and at the Inner missions girls' school in Berlin. In 1929 she became a teacher at the Mission House Malche in Bad Freienwalde (Oder) in German, psychology and church history. After matriculation in 1930 she studied psychology, art history and philosophy in Berlin and Hamburg. This study was completed by a religious-psychologic thesis about "Consciousness of Sin in adolescent girls and its significance for their battle of faith."

Some years later she was living in a badly bombed Germany with few resources, and came to believe she should repent for Germany's cruel treatment of other nations during the war, especially the Jews. On March 30, 1947, she and Erika Madauss founded The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Darmstadt. In 1948 both the founders and the first seven sisters became nuns; Klara took the name "Basilea".

The community dedicated itself to a Christian literature and radio ministry. Basilea was herself a prolific writer, her devotional books, pamphlets and hymns being translated into more than 60 languages.

The Sisterhood of Mary, initially Lutheran but now interdenominational, today numbers more than 200 women from 20 countries, with 14 men in the affiliated Canaan Franciscan Brothers. It has branched out from its centre in Germany, at Darmstadt near Frankfurt, to Australia, Israel and the United States, and the U.K. The Sisterhood publishes tracts in 90 languages and distributes them on all five continents, while its radio and television programmes are broadcast in 23 languages.

Mother Basilea died in Darmstadt on 21 March 2001.

This is a Christmas message written by Mother Basilea which can be downloaded in its original format HERE.

We were bestowed with a gift that offers us the solution to all our troubles - a Child born on Christmas Day, born to accomplish the purposes of God and bringing them to a wonderful outcome! A Child, upon whose shoulders the government will rest (Is.9:6). He will be Lord of the universe and bring peace and healing to all nations - this Child Jesus, who came into our world as the Son of God.

This is the message of Christmas. But does not real life present us with a different picture? Not Jesus, but His enemy is steadily gaining power. With ever increasing might the adversary is exerting his influence over men and nations. More and more the earth is being enveloped in darkness. Countless numbers of people are affected by the powers of darkness and no one seems able to check their advance. Yet all this is in fulfillment of the words of the Lord, "Darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples" (Is. 60:2); injustice and lawlessness, chaos and the horrors of sin will gain the upper hand, and His own will be hated by all nations (Matt. 24).

Now at this crucial point in the history of mankind, the birth of Jesus is of the utmost significance. To Him and not to His enemy is given the future dominion - no matter how mighty the adversary may appear to be. The title, "Mighty Victor", is conferred upon Jesus - and not on the prince of darkness. Jesus' power lies in His lowliness, freely given out of love for us. This love led Him to Calvary where He was nailed to the cross. Meek as a lamb, the Almighty Son of God lay in the manger as a small, weak Babe, given into the hands of men; later, delivered up to the cruel hands of men, He hung on the cross.

Yet this humble, enduring love of Jesus is the very source of His victorious might. The Child Jesus grew up, performed signs and wonders, and proved Himself Lord over death. He rose from the grave and defeated Satan and hell. The Church of Jesus Christ was born.

Throughout the centuries, His own have experienced that He is truly the Mighty Victor as His name says. For ever anew Jesus has performed signs and wonders for those who believe in His name.

But more is said of this Child. "The government will be upon his shoulders." The dominion will not remain forever in the hands of the prince of this world and his followers who have assumed almost universal control. No, their reign during this last stage in the world's history will actually usher in the day when Jesus Christ will triumphantly take over all the kingdoms of the world. He will establish His kingdom of peace and salvation. Then, everything will be made new (Rev. 11:15). His victory over all the nations will be displayed. This Child is born under the prophecy that He would sit upon the throne of David and have a kingdom that will never end! (Luke 1:32f.)

Even now from heaven, Jesus is constantly at work. In apparent weakness He is preparing the victorious outcome of His purposes. He carries out His plans in the increasing darkness of our times.

At Christmas we behold the Child Jesus, so small and insignificant as He lies in the manger; but His smallness is the secret of His greatness and kingship, and His humility the key to His authority. He possesses all power and might, for He is the Son of God. In this small Child, lying on a bed of straw, we see the King of kings. He will be revealed in power and glory at His second coming.

What a joyful Christmas message this is in these dark days when the waves are raging, and sorrows and hardships try to weigh us down! Indeed, Christmas is a special reality in this very day and age. The Child Jesus has been born. Jesus has come into this world. He yearns to establish His kingdom in our hearts today. Whoever accepts His kingship will find himself immersed in peace and joy.

And so the Child Jesus, the Mighty Victor, calls us to His manger, longing to grant us His power and aid. Let us say to Him with believing hearts:

Dearest Child, You came to darkness,
Brought Your gleam to this earth's night,
For the world is ripe for judgment,
Helpless in its woeful plight.

Yet Your radiance shines the brighter
O'er our sinful misery,
And You lead mankind in triumph
Out of death to victory.

Dearest Child, You are so tiny,
Yet Your love flows mightily.
May the world now re-created
Follow Your humility.

Baby Jesus, little Monarch,
Ruler of this sinful world.
Safely in Your hands we'll shelter
When the judgment is unfurled.

With this comfort in our hearts, let us gather round the manger and worship the royal Child Jesus.

O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of angels!
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!


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