Frsluflokkur: Trml

Merry Christmas...?

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Amen

Merry Christmas!! I have no idea how many times the greeting “Merry Christmas” has been exchanged among people in the whole world over in the last couple of days. Even though people exchange Christmas greetings in hundreds of different ways and languages, the English phrase “Merry Christmas” must be the most common and popular of all.

The word “Christmas” means “the festival of Christ”, and “merry” is coming from the old English word “miryge”, meaning “pleasing” or “delightful”. So, it is not wrong to say “Delightful Christmas” just like in Icelandic, instead of “Merry Christmas”.

I am not a native speaker of English, and have been feeling a sort of incompatibility, or discomfort, about the word “merry”. I learned that “merry” is an adjective which might be used to describe a scene such as people singing and dancing happily for example.

And if that is so, “Merry Christmas” sounds like we are all enjoying a happy gathering at the feast of Christmas.The original meaning might have been different, but I am rather sure that a considerable number of people use “Merry Christmas” in that sense today.

Christmas has developed, during the last 2000 years, into many different forms. In Iceland, Christmas has added an extra meaning, as an opportunity for family members to get together. In some part in the world, like in Japan, Christmas has developed as a cultural event more than a religious one. The Japanese celebrate Christmas, but without baby Jesus – just with Santa Claus.

The “business minds” of the world have certainly developed their own Christmas, urging you to spend more money around this feast, to consume. And in the process of developing in these different directions, the Christmas greeting “Merry Christmas” has begun to mean, more or less, “Have a happy gathering, singing and dancing!”

I am not going to judge these things. But I want to tell you that at such a time, every church in the world makes an effort trying to maintain the deepest, and most important, meaning of Christmas, remembering that is the saviour is coming to us; to me and to you, each of you.

Four years ago, before Christmas in 2014, I visited two Christian men at their apartment in Reykjavk. They were both asylum seekers, and had spent many years without belonging to any state. They were hopeless, very weighed down in their minds.

Their room was on top of the apartment complex, so we could see the beautiful Christmas lights of the town away in the darkness. They said: “You know..., we have nothing to do with Christmas. We are outside of it.” They were sitting in the darkness: not in their room, but in their minds. Obviously, the illumination of the lights didn’t reach into their hearts.

When I heard their words, I was visiting them to talk about their asylum cases, and was actually not ready to answer them immediately. I knew how hard the situation was for them, and I thought it was understandable that they should feel that way, excluded from Christmas. I got a heavy feeling in my heart, too, after that.

Recently, I heard same kind of talk from some of our people in the Seekers group. They were invited to a Christmas gathering the other day, but they said that they couldn’t really enjoy the opportunity. It was not at all a defect of the gathering itself, but simply because they weren’t in a state to enjoy such a happy time. That is also understandable. They were distracted by fear, and occupied by anxiety about their future. Would be able to stay in Iceland or not?

Here we can see once again the limitations of Christmas when understood as a happy gathering. A happy gathering cannot receive those who are in deep troubles. Even though it invites those troubled people kindly and warmly, they may not be able to enter the circle of laughter and good cheer.

This is not limited with to asylum seekers. Even if we look about us in Icelandic society, there are lots of people who sit in the darkness, haunted by some troubles, anxiety or grief. In the last Christmas period, 1,340 families, 3,500 individuals, got family support from the Church-aid only. There are many families that don’t have enough to eat in Christmas.

There are many families that have lost someone in the family near Christmas time, and they have to have the Christmas dinner with a vacant seat in their dining. There are also many people who struggle with difficult illnesses, not knowing if they will see next Christmas.

When we think about those people, it should not be difficult to imagine that there are many who are not in a state of mind to join the happy circle of a Christmas gathering. Then the question is this: Does Christmas have nothing to do with them?

The answer is of course: “Yes. Christmas has meaning for them, too!” Christmas is the festival celebrating the coming of Christ, his birth on earth. He has come into the world, first of all, to bring light to those who sit in darkness.

Do you remember what Jesus said after he visited Matthew, the tax collector and sinner? He said: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. (...) I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”(Mt.9:12-13)

In the today’s text from Isaiah, it is said: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”(Isa.9:2) That was why God our Father sent his son into the world, among us, sinners.

This was a revolutionary thing indeed, and it turned everything up-side down. Because of the coming of Christ, those who had been seen as being the lowest in priority when it came to God’s salvation, came to be the highest. The last became the first. And we, gentiles, namely non-Jewish people, were also invited to that salvation by Jesus.

There is this episode in the Acts of the Apostles.

One day, a beggar who had been lame from birth met Jesus’ disciples, Peter and John, and asked for some money. Then Peter said him, instead giving him money: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And then “He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.”(Acts: 3:6)

He who had to live by begging every day was cured in the name of Jesus, and then he followed Peter and John, jumping and praising God.

This is how meeting Jesus changes our lives. This is how we respond to encountering Jesus. There are many stories of healing in the Gospels, but I took this episode because it expresses the joy of the healed one in the most vivid way. A great joy has been brought to a man who sat in the darkness all through his life, by meeting Jesus.

And the same joy was brought to so many people who also sat in the darkness in their lives. Jesus literally healed the illnesses of the people, but more fundamentally he heals our existence as sinners, our weakness as human persons. One of the manifestations of sin is to lose hope. The coming of Jesus gave hope to the hopeless.

All of this began at the Christmas, the birth of the baby Jesus. It was to cause joy among the people of that time, and it still does today. And because of that, we celebrate Christmas.

So, it is not that Christmas is an occasion of a happy gathering for happy people. If it were just that, those who suffer in the darkness can never join it.

The thing is that Christmas was formed in the midst of those who were sat in the darkness. The joy of Christmas was born there, and spread out from there. The joy of Christmas comes from the people who were burdened in their minds, but saw hope in the coming of Jesus.

I would like you sincerely to remember that Christmas is not only for those who live happily today, but was originally aimed for those who thirst for hope and help in their reality. So it is even today.

But even though we remember this point, and understand that the light of Christmas lights up those who sit in darkness, it is not enough. We need to go one more step forward, where Christmas is about you yourselves, or me myself. Christmas lights up me and you, each of you.

Now forget about “the people” but concentrate on you yourself, please. Christ has come not for the human being, not for all the people, but he has come for you yourself.

I understand you find it difficult to connect yourself to the joy of Christmas if you are stuck in trouble or sorrow. You may find it impossible to identify with the guys whom Jesus healed in the Gospels, because you are still in trouble, and your troubles aren’t gone yet, despite Christmas coming.

I think that’s understandable. Many things are still incomplete, and we are still crying for help. Maybe we need to wait until Jesus’ return, when the kingdom of God will manifest here in this world. And then everything will be completed.

But the important thing for us today is that we have a promise from Jesus. And therefore we have hope in Jesus. The Gospel stories of Jesus’s healing are promises, from him, that we will all be cured from our illness and saved from our troubles when the time comes. These stories are given to us as a message from Jesus.

And the message is very simple: God cares about you. It’s not that God cares about people, but about YOU. Sometimes we need to stop generalizing things. Sometimes we need to make things personal, very personal.

Please take a moment of peace during this time of year, and think about it. This Christmas is given for you. Jesus is coming for you. Because God cares about you. This is the very point of Christmas.

When you catch meaning and hold it tight in yourself, then I believe that the greeting “Merry Christmas” will sound a bit different in your heart. It is not a notice of a happy gathering, but an expression of joy, knowing God cares about you and promises you his grace.

In that meaning, once again, Merry Christmas.

The Grace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus -Amen

(flutt jlamessu Aljlega Safnaarins Breiholtskirkju annan jla 2018)

Living tradistion, sleeping tradition

*This is a sermon that was hold in the opning service of Scandinavian conference "Living Word, living tradition" at the Hteigs-church on 10th of November 2015.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -Amen.

I am immigrant from Japan and before I moved to Iceland, I was ordained in the Japanese Lutheran Church. Japanese protestant churches have only 150 years’ history at most. They are young and therefore we don’t have very strong traditions as Christian churches yet.

When I moved to Iceland about 20 years ago, I got a sort of culture shock by seeing the differences between the Icelandic church and the Japanese church. I felt that the Icelandic church had a very rich tradition as the church of Christian nation with 1.000 years’ history.

Tradition is, however, not a holy thing. Sometimes we try to add a new tradition to the “traditional tradition” or we need to shake and wake up some sleeping tradition. I began to serve as pastor for immigrants officially in 1996. The immigration issue was a rather new phenomenon in Iceland at that time, and I felt that I was always apart from the Icelandic tradition, both in society and in the church environment.

The word “tradition” sounds perhaps too ambiguous in this context. So let’s say that “tradition” means here some sorts of ceremony, feast or ritual for particular topics, such as immigrants or gay people, that is being considered as a part of the nation’s culture.

20 years have passed and I think Icelandic society has begun to form pieces of new traditions regarding immigrants and cultural diversity, such as the Multi-cultural day of Reykjavik and the Religious Forum in Iceland.

In recent years I have spent considerably with asylum seekers in Iceland in my work. The number of asylum seekers has been increasing here in Iceland, though the absolute number is much smaller than the other European countries. Until only few years ago, the Icelandic church had nothing to do with the asylum seekers’ issue, honestly speaking.

Fortunately, now the whole church is more aware of the necessity of a presence of the church in the asylum seekers’ issue and also in the reception of quota refugees, and today I have good colleagues and co-workers to work together.

But more or less, we all have to admit that issues regarding asylum seekers or refugees are not deeply rooted in the Icelandic church. We feel those issues are new topics for the Icelandic church and therefore asylum seeking people are out side of the tradition of the church. Indeed I cannot point out any traditional service or custom in the church for them.

This is actually an interesting phenomenon and I think it deserves to be thought through why those issues have not rooted in the church tradition, for there are numerous stories that address seeking for asylum and refuge in the Bible.

Adam and Eve escaped from the eyes of Father God and hid themselves behind trees. The first refugees of mankind! The story of Noah’s ark is a story of refuge from natural disasters. Jacob, the son of Isaac, ran away from his father in law, Laban. The prophet Elijah took refuge in the Mt. Horeb. In the Psalms, the word “shelter” is used more than 40 times.

There are many other stories about asylum seeking in the Old Testament. So at least in the Old Testament, seeking asylum is one of the important themes and of course, we may not forget the Exodus. The Exodus was the great escape.

As we know, “Shema Israel” is the daily prayer of the Jewish people and also confession of their faith in God. By praying Shema, Jews are supposed to remind themselves of: “the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”(Deu. 6:12)

The Exodus is actually the foundation of the faith of the Jewish people and their existence. God lead them to the safe land and they must not forget that history. It is therefore the core of the Jewish traditions to say Shema twice every day.

We can see another important tradition of the Jewish people to remember the event of Exodus in the feast of the passover. The passover feast has been celebrated in order to remember the Exodus for centuries. “You shall observe this rite as an ordinance for you and for your sons for ever.” (Ex. 12:24)
Therefore for the Jewish people, it is really the middle of their faith, ritual and tradition to have an experience of being refugees.

How we Christians understand the foundation of Judaism might not be unanimous, but still we cannot deny that their tradition has become a part of our tradition, too. The Passover feast is when Jesus and his disciples had the last supper, an essential part of the Holy week and a special occasion for us Christians, too.

Besides, we have our own tradition that regards asylum seeking. That is the escape of the Holy family, Joseph, Maria and the new born baby Jesus, to Egypt. This episode is actually very important and has a symbolic meaning that huge changes would be brought to the world by the birth of Jesus. Anyhow, the land of Egypt to which Jews are referring every day in Shema as “the house of bondage” has now changed into a shelter for the Holy family.

And we hear and listen to this story every year at Christmas time. So we cannot deny that to seek for asylum is also in the very middle of the tradition of our church.

So my question is why then do we feel as if asylum seekers and refugees are out side of the churchly tradition, ritual or service?
Churches on the continent must be providing many services for asylum seekers. But are these services considered as a part of the main activity of the churches? Or are they considered as a sort of social welfare activities taken care of by the churches, just like church aid?

In this context, I would like to point out that here is an example of a tradition that used to be living and have influence on our religious life, but has fallen sleep.

I am not highly educated theologian, so I entrust you this matter as material for discussion and speculation. I would like, however, as a street pastor, to witness from the reality that I am facing.

That is asylum seekers and refugees are often dehumanized. When we see photos of boats filled with refugees, when we watch videos in which thousand refugees are walking, holding small children, to borders, who can say that kind of situation is humane? I have friends who are asylum seekers, and many of them have been living in Europe for 8, 9, or even longer than 10 years without sufficient civil rights. Is this situation humane?

No, not at all. They are dehumanized. And maybe, this dehumanization of asylum seekers is not only a result that society has brought to them, but also the reason why they are being kept dehumanized for a long time. Dehumanization is a method we use when we don’t want to confront violations against humanity and want to leave the problem as it is.

We need to break down this dehumanization of asylum seeking people. And I do believe that that is one of the important roles for us, Christian churches, and a part of our essential purpose.

I went to church for the first time when I was 19 years old and got baptized when I was 21. I was the only Christian in my entire family. I was seeking for purpose of my life, and from the beginning it was easy for me to believe in an almighty God who is the center of the universe.

But I found it so difficult and ridiculous to believe that the Son of God became a human person. How could it be possible? I couldn’t understand it. 35 years have passed, and now Jesus Christ is “the Thing” in my religious life. I noticed at some stage, that I could communicate with God because of Jesus. Without him, how could I try to approach God and his will? Maybe I could feel the presence of God when I am in magnificent nature. I am sure that you would feel the same.

But that feeling doesn’t teach me how to understand the sins of man, the meaning of forgiveness or the importance of love among us sinners.
Through Jesus, through his teachings and behavior, we can learn, presume and be assured by what the will of God is, what his expectations to us are. Namely we are allowed to have communication with God on the level of our personalities.

“(….) the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (….) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1: 1, 14) What a miracle it is. What a grace it is. Divinity became a human in order to meet us and give us salvation.

If we are thankful for this miracle and grace, if we truly believe that our life has been changed by meeting Jesus, how can we leave them alone, who have been dehumanized by their situation, by the negligence of our society or by the obvious prejudice of it?

Jesus has become a man, in order to meet us and release us from the sins, namely to humanize us in its true meaning. And is Jesus not visiting every single person in society to do the same to that person? If so, it is the traditional core mission of our church to humanize the dehumanized around us. Jesus is working for it. So, are we with him, or what?

Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Amen

r dagbk prests innflytjenda - Dymbilvika

Enn rennur upp htartmabil. Fermingarmessa og plmasunnudagsmessa hverri kirkju og brum koma pskar. En rtt eins og jlunum, er g langt burtu fr hinu stra svii htarviburanna. g funda pnulti ara presta sem stjrna essum htum. En hins vegar hef g ng minni knnu og a sem meira er, g nt ess miki!

Undanfarna daga hefur asto vi flttaflk aukist bersnilega ar sem hvorki Reykjavkurborg n Reykjanesbr hefur geta teki mti fleira flttaflki og tlendingastofnun verur a astoa a eirra hversdagslfi. En stofnunin er hins vegar ekki faglegur aili umnnun flks og um stundarsakir var algjrt kaos. Sfellt koma upp vntar arfir. "Mig vantar rakvl“: sagi maur. Hann tti ekki krnu. Rakvl? Er a nokkur rakvl leigu bnum?foot-in-mouth

kvenu tmabili gat flk einu gistiheimilinu ekki nota vottavlina ar. "Vi erum smu ftunum lengur en viku.“ v bau g flki a koma Neskirkju og vo ar. a tk fjra tma a vo og urrka ft og nrft riggja manns. g kynntist v vnt vottaherberginu kjallara safnaarheimilis Neskirkju!

Heimskn flks fltta er orin hversdagslegur hlutur lfi mnu, asto vi einfalda hluti eins og innkaup matar, a kynna eim fyrir borg og b og fleira. sustu viku var slys og maur var fluttur sptala me sjkrabl. Bi kallai g sjkrablinn og eins vitjai g sjklingsins hverjum degi.

Auk ess byrjai g fr og me janar „taksverkefni“ sem er a fylgjast me flttaflki messu. a er of erfitt fyrir a a skja messu sem er slensku, tungumli er hindrun. v ski g a og fer me v, fyrir hdegi og einnig eftir hdegi, stundum Reykjanesb. etta er sem sagt eins konar "fylgdarjnusta.“

ur fannst mr skrti egar g s prest sem var alltaf prestskyrtu. Sjlfur var g aeins henni egar g annaist athfn kirkju. En nna er g prestsskyrtu alla daga – fr mnudegi til sunnudags. Get ekki fari r henni. A sjlfsgu eru margir meal flttaflks sem ekki eru kristnir og v tek g stundum af "kragann“ r hlsinum til a minnka "kristilegt einkenni“. jnustan hj mr er fyrir alla sem ska eftir henni n tillitis til ess hvaa tr vikomandi ahyllast.

Samt fel g ekki a g s prestur kirkjunnar. Mr finnst heiarlegt a fela hver maur er raun. N kallar margt flk mig "Father Toshiki“. a er heiurstitill finnst mr. g kann vel vi hann. "Fylgdarjnusta Father Toshiki“!innocent

jnustan sem g er nna lkist frekar djknajnustu en prestsjnustu. sleningar eru hrifnir a skipta hlutverki meal sn: prestsjnustu, djknajnustu ea starfsemi trboa. En slk hlutverkaskipting er aeins tknileg en ekki kjarnaml jnustunnar a mnu mati. Japan ar sem g var skrur, var etta rennt smu einni prestsjnustu. Heilaga renningin.

A sjlfsgu hlusta g einnig sgu flks um fltta og geri mislegt sem hgt a gera til a styja vi flki. a er j talsver mikil vinna raun. Samt gtu i haldi: "Allt of miki sem er ekki tengt fagnaareindi“.

En fylgdarjnustan er mikilvg, af v a hn astoar flk hversdagslfi eirra ea brtur a upp. A vo votta, fara saman innkaupaleiangur ea a vaska upp eftir matinn, allt er etta hluti af hversdagslfi flks.

Og ekki er hgt a skilja bnir fr hversdagslfinu. Me v a deila hversdagslegum hlutum hvert me ru, eykst samstaa bnargjr efalaust miki. egar bnir vera kraftmeiri, finn g ar metanlega n Gus og nrveru Jes.

a er kvein og skr lna dregin milli flks fltta og mn. Flki er fltta, en ekki g. essi munur er raun svo str a g get ekki bra a sjlfur. En Jess getur. a er Jess sem kemur veg fyrir a jnustan mn veri "vorkunn blessas manns“. Vi erum, rtt fyrir allt, a iggja ll fylgdarjnustu Jes.

Birtingarform prestsjnusta og kirkjujnustu er margvsleg og fjlbreytt. En r allar spretta t r smu rtinni, sem er krleiki Jes Krists og hans krossinn.

Gleilega pska! Drottinn er upprisinn og hann er ekki grfInni. Og vi erum heldur ekki!smile

Friur s me oss

g hef veri a velta fyrir mr merkingu friar essa dagana. Ef til vill er a tmabrt a hugsa um fri aventu. Hva er friur? Einfalt svar er a sjlfsgu a a friur er staa ar sem ekkert str rkir. egar vi frttum um astur Srlandi ea Egyptalandi kkum vi lklega ll fyrir a sland er ekki tttakandi stri vi ara j ea a slendingar eru ekki klofnir vegna borgarastrs.

Samt verum vi a segja a essi skilgreining frii, a friur s staa ar sem ekkert str s gangi, s frekar virk skilgreining. Er srhvert samflag n strs sannarlega frislt samflag?

Ef flk sem er valdastu kgar kveinn hp manna samflaginu me v a svipta hann mannrttindum, ef a er flk sem eru frnarlmb skipulags eineltis ea mismunun, ea ef margir unglingar jst vegna fkniefnaneyslu, slkt samflag skili a kallast ,,frislt samflag" a jafnvel ofbeldi vegna strs s ekki til staar? Svari mun vera ,,Nei". Ekki bara ,,nei", heldur geta slkar astur valdi eirum og ltum einhvern tma framtinni.

Friur virkri merkingu

Ef vi skilgreinum fri virkan htt, mun hn vera eins og: friur er staa ar sem allir vikomandi samflagi njta allra rttinda sinna, taki tt samflaginu sinn htt og a allir geti teki tt umrinni innan kveins lrislegs ramma. Sem s er er a nausynlegt a rttlti samflaginu stofnist rkum mli, auk ess a str s ekki til staar.

Slk lsing um frislt samflag er, eins og austt tti a vera, nstum v a lsa hugmyndarfrilega fullkomnu samflagi, og vissulega er erfitt a lta ann draum rtast. Menn urfa a vinna mlinu endalaust til a n frii. Friur ea st/krleikur eru hversdagsor fyrir okkur, en au hafa unga merkingu sr.

Biskup slands, fr Agnes M. Sigurardttir, hafi or um fri og rttlti essari merkingu eins og g hef lst hr, varpi snu vi setningu kirkjuings nvember sl. Hn sagist hafa ori fyrir hrifum af gufri Sri Lanka sem hn kynntist heimsingi Alkirkjursins sem var haldi Suur-Kreu viku fyrir kirkjuingi.

,,ll rum vi fri og gerum okkur grein fyrir v a friur, jafnvgi, nst ekki nema rttlti rki. Vi bum ekki vi fri af v tagi er margir sgu fr heimsinginu Busan. ... Samt er rf fyrirbn til Gus lfsins um rttlti og fri.

a er friur landi okkar. ... friur eirri merkingu a margir upplifa rttlti, vinganir, afskiptaleysi, sjlfsti, jafnrtti, kva, reii".


Sri Lanka ba mrg jarbrot saman og einnig eru landinu mrg trarbrg eins og bddismi, hindatr, islam og kristni. En vegna skorts rttlti samflaginu hefur jin lent borgarastri fjrum sinnum fr 1983 til 2009. fjra strinu voru fleiri en tuttugu sund borgarar drepnir. Asturnar eru enn stugar og uppbygging rttltis samflaginu virist vera langt fr v a vera fullngjandi.

slkum astum hafa margir veri a vinna a v a byggja upp jkv samskipti meal jarbrotanna og trarbraganna Sri Lanka. Sr. Dr. Rex Joseph (d. 2007) var einn af eim og hann ni berandi rangri samstu meal trarhpa Sri Lanka.

Dr. Joseph lkti ,,samb" mismunandi jarbrota og trarbraga vi tr eins og Banyan ea Palmya Palm, en au eru algengt tr Sri Lanka. au eru ,,samblis"(symbiosis)tr og vaxa saman me v a lta greinar sna strjka greinar annara trja. annig lta tv tr t fyrir eins og eitt tr. Me v a vaxa ennan htt, geta trn veri sterkari fyrir vindum ea stormum. Samt eru au sjlfst hvort fr ru og au stela ekki nringu fr ru tr ea trufla neinn htt.

Dr. Joseph benti flki Sri Lanka a samblistrn vru tkn fyrir a a hvernig jin Sri Lanka tti a vera.

ljsi slensks raunveruleika

g held a a s tvmlalaust einnig verkefni okkar slandi a reyna a n frii virkri merkingu. Eins og Agnes biskup benti , a er friur til staar jflagi okkar. Og til ess urfum vi einnig a n rttlti samflaginu. n rttltis er friur aeins yfirborslegt fyrirbri.

Og gleymum ekki ,,samblistrjnum". Hr ba lka mismunandi hagsmunailar eins og fjlbreytileg tr- og lfsskounarflg. Rttlti m ekki vera rttlti, aeins fyrir suma ea fyrir sjlfa sig, heldur verur a a vera rttlti fyrir ara lka. Munum a, a lta rttlti fyrir afskiptalaust veldur gnar frii allra einhvern tma framtinni. Skpum fri og lifum saman honum.
Friur s me oss og gleileg jl!

g mr draum...ea m g a?

g mr draum. En hann er ekki str draumur fyrir rttlti manna og frelsi eins og Martin Luther King yngri tti sr. Draumur minn er ltill og persnulegur.

g mr draum. Mig langar a elda gan mat fyrir einhverja sem g kann vel vi og sj bros andliti hennar. Mig langar a sitja til bors ar sem hltur og hlja streymir niur.

Mig langar a fara feralag innanlands me einhverri sem g kann vel vi og ganga me henni um fjll og dali. Mig langar a vi njtum fegurar nttru slands saman og g safna efni fyrir lj.

Mig langar a vi sitjum saman hlrri stofu og g sni henni uppkast lja minna og f lit hennar. Mig langar a vi deilum erfileikum, pirringi og kvrtunum me hvort ru, jafnt sem glei og skemmtun.

Draumur minn er nefnilega a hafa einhverja sem g get deilt lfi mnu me. En samt arf a ekki endilega a ba saman ea giftast.
g hef haldi ann draum sustu ratugi, en hann hefur aldrei rst nema um stund.

Ekki misskilja mig. g er ekki a auglsa eftir lfsfrunaut fyrir mig hr! g vil heldur velta fyrir mr leitinni a hamingju lfsins.

,,Lxus" ,,of mikil r" ea ,,grgi"?

egar i lesi um ennan draum minn, hugsi i ef til vill a g kveljist einangrun og s sttur vi lfi mitt n ess a njta ess. En a er ekki satt. g gti veri duglegri a njta lfsins, en g er hamingjusamur.

Ef a vri til mlingartki hamingju manns, myndi g f ha einkunn hamingjuskala. g tv brn, sem g get sannarlega veri stoltur af, og g akka Gui fyrir a vera svo lnsamur.

g er starfi sem g elska og v get g nota hfileika minn vel. Atvinna manns varar hversdaginn og a skiptir miklu hvort manni lur vel ea illa vinnunni.

g er ekki me neinn kveinn sjkdm, a g vanrki algjrlega lkamsrkt. g er ekki rkur, en samt ekki fjrhagserfileikum.
g enga srstaka vini, a g viti a g er ekki vinsll hj llum og sumir sna mr and sna.

annig a egar skou er heildarmynd lfs mns, m segja a g s hamingjusamur maur rkum mli.

Hva um a g haldi draum um a eignast lfsfrunaut? tti slkur draumur a ykja ,,lxus" ,,of mikil r" ea ,,grgi" ?

Satt a segja tel g a sjlfur stundum. r fjlmilum ekki g mrg brn sem glma vi erfia sjkdma. Erfileikar eirra vara alla fjlskyldu barnanna. Margt flk er ori a frnarlmbum hagringar og enn fleiri standa frammi fyrir eim tta a missa lfsviurvri sitt.

starfi mnu hitti g flk sem erfileikum fjlskyldu sinni og vi matarbor eirra eru borin bor tr og reii stainn fyrir spu og brau.

Og hlisleitendur. hvert skipti egar g kem heim eftir heimskn til hlisleitanda, get g ekki gert anna en a akka fyrir a sem g , heimili, fjlskyldu, tilgang lfinu, fri, frelsi og rttindi. Hva meira er nausynlegt?

a er satt. Vi skulum reyna a gleyma ekki v sem vi eigum nna. Ekkert er sjlfsagt ml fyrir okkur og allt skili akklti. Mr finnst etta vera grunnstefna lfsins, a.m.k. hj mr.

a sem varar eli manns djpt

Engu a sur, get g ekki afsala mr draumum mnum. Af hverju?
egar Gu skapai manneskjuna sagi hann: ,,Eigi er a gott a maurinn s einn. g vil gera honum mehjlp vi hans hfi". Mr finnst etta vera mjg mikilvg skilabo (srstaklega til a rttlta drauminn minn!).

Nei, n grns, hr birtist mjg mikilvgt atrii sem varar eli mannsins. a er a manneskjur eru hannaar til a starfa saman og hjlast a. a gildir um samflag manna og jafnframt gildir a srhvern einstakling. A eiga maka varar raun grundvallar-eli manneskju.

annig er a missandi hluti fyrir mann til a mta sannan sjlfan sig a iggja hjlp fr maka snum og a veita maka snum hjlp, ar sem manneskja a vera sambandi ,,veita-iggja hjlp". En gleymist etta ekki alltof oft okkar ntmalfi?

Dag fr degi virist a vera miki auveldara a lifa og ba ein/n. g hef reynslu af fjlbreyttri samb: a vera giftur, giftur, skilinn, sambandi, og g get fullyrt a a er miki auveldara a ba ein/n en a vera samb. A ba saman ea a vera fastasambandi er erfi samvinna. En samt er a ess viri.

Niurstaa mn.

Draumur minn, sem er a ska eftir lfsfrunaut, er v eli snu ekki a bta kveinni hamingju vi ann lnsama hluta lfs mns sem g lifi nna. Draumurinn fylgir mr svo framarlega sem g spyr um tilvist sjlfs mns og leita leia til a njta mns eigins lfs. v m g halda essum draumi og ba eftir v a hann rtist.

N dagsins, n a eilfu

Gamall prestur Japan, sem g hef ekkt yfir rjtu r, er sasta stigi erfis sjkdms. Ungur prestur, sem er eins og barnabarns aldri gamla prestsins, lt mig vita af v. g gat ekki fundi betri or en:„Berist hver dagur til hans sem n Gus".

„Maur ekkir n sem gefin hefur veri manni og saknar hennar fyrst egar nin hefur tapast." a gerist lka raun a erfi upplifun getur breyst „n" sar, en ef marka m n sem vi iggjum me kkum, mun etta yfirleitt vera satt hj okkur mnnum.

Samt er a ekki lgml, og a sjlfsgu er a hgt fyrir okkur a viurkenna n sem n og njta mean nin dvelur hndum okkar. a er hvorki erfitt ml n leyndarml. Til a njta nar sem stendur hj okkur nna, urfum vi aeins a vita a allt er breytingum h.

Allt er ferli breytingar og ekkert er breytanlegt. Sjlfsg sannindi, en engu a sur gleymist a svo oft. Japanskur bddismi leggur herslu essa hugmynd um „umbreytingu" (Mujou-kan) miki. v hef g vita um hugmyndina yfirborslega fr ungum aldri, en hn var ekki „inni " brjsti mnu.

Kannski maur a lra um „umbreytingarsjnarmi" stig af stigi af reynslu lfinu snu. Fyrir rmum tu rum lendi g rekstri vi starfsflk Aljahss, sem hafi veri gur og mikilvgur samvinnuaili, vegna greinings um jnustustefnu.

Sambandi okkar var sliti og g einangraist tluvert. Mr sndist a vera endalausir grir dagar, en slin skein aftur vnt egar stjrn Aljahssins breyttist. kom vori.

Nstu nokkur r reyndust hugaverir og skemmtilegir dagar fyrir mig starfi. Allt gekk vel, en g hafi lrt eitt eigin skinni: „N er allt fnu lagi. En vetur mun koma einhvern tma aftur". Og a var rtt. Kreppurnar komu og Aljahsi var horfi.

g var aftur einangrun en etta skipti var mr gefi gott skjl Neskirkju me gott vinnuumhverfi og samstarfsflk. g tek eim sem n og g lt alls ekki au sem sjlfsagt ml. mtir kirkjan sem heild erfium tma og hann virist standa enn yfir. En g er alveg viss um essi erfii tmi haldi ekki fram a eilfu. Vori mun koma me tmanum.

Fyrir tu rum komu brnin mn tv saman til mn alltaf um helgar. g var helgarpabbi. Eftir nokkur r breyttist a annig a anna hvort sonur minn ea dttir mn kom til mn einu, ar sem au uru of str a vera saman ltilli b minni. En g hafi aldrei hugsa a dvl eirra hj mr vri sjlfsagt ml ea tilvist eirra hj mr myndi vera breytanleg framtinni.

N eru au orin enn strri og geta komi til mn aeins reglulegar. g er glaur samt. Eftir nokkur r, vera au alveg sjlfst og eignast eigin fjlskyldu hvort fyrir sig. au geta fari r landi eins og g geri sjlfur og flutti til slands. Allavega er a visst a g hitti brnin mn minna en g get nna. Og etta a vera svona.

g held a g s lnsamur af v a g er ekki a gleyma v a njta hverrar stundar me brnunum mnum sem metanlegrar nar Gus. Raunar segi g hi sama um foreldra mna. Hvert sinn egar g heimski au held g a a muni vera sasta sinn sem g s au jrinni, og v akka g a tkifri.

a verur ekki eftirsj a urfa a upplifa eitthvert „sasta skipti" lfinu. En a myndi vera eftirsj ef g tek eftir v a lokum a g hef fari fram hj n n vitundar minnar. g veit ekki hve miki g get teki mti n Gu sem n me kkum. En a.m.k. vil g geyma au atrii brjsti mnu og reyna a bja hverja n velkomna.

Samra meal trarbraga

Fyrsta vika febrar hvert r er „Interfaith week" hj Sameinuu junum. a m segja a etta s „vika samru meal trarbraga".
Eitt af srstkum verkefnum hj mr, sem presti innflytjenda jkirkjunnar, er a hvetja til umru meal trarbraga landinu.

Innflytjendur eru talsvert tengdir rum trarhefum en hinni lthersku. Auk ess g a jna flki h trarlegum bakgrunni ess ef jnustu minnar er ska. v hefur verkefni um samru meal trarbraga raunstt mikilvgi hj mr.

mjg stuttu mli sagt hefur samra meal trarbraga tvr hliar. nnur er trarbragafrileg samra eins og samanburur kenninga hverra trarbraga og hin eru bein samskipti meal einstaklinga, sem hafa mismunandi tr ea trlaust vihorf.
Mikilvgi trarinnar fer eftir manni, en nausynlegt er a bera viringu fyrir tr hvers einstaklings.

Varandi starfsemi um samru meal trarbraga, hef g oft mtt misskilningi flks og fordmum eins og: „ heldur a ll trarbrg su au smu og byggist sama grundvelli" ea „Telur a a skipti engu mli hvaa tr maur ahyllist?"

Misskilningur af essu tagi stafar, ef til vill, af v a vikomandi blandar saman viringu fyrir rum trarbrgum og hlni vi au. En g er ekki me slkrar skounar.

g gekk kristna kirkju Japan. Japan er minna en 1% af bum ess kristinn. Kristin kirkja er algjr minnihlutahpur og ess vegna mtum vi miss konar gindum ea jafnvel mismunun trarikun okkar.
Samt heldur kristi flk Japan fram a leggja tr sna Krist, ar sem kristin tr er srstk og mikilvg fyrir a.

Margir halda kristna tr sem minnihlutahpur heiminum og kvenum svum fylgir v raunveruleg htta a vera kristinn. Hi sama m segja um ara trarlega minnihlutahpa en kristna. Vi myndum vira ef vi segum eitthva veru a „ll trarbrg su eins," n ess a velta mlinu vel fyrir okkur.

A halda fast eigin tr er eitt og a bera viringu fyrir rum trarbrgum er anna. Og einnig eru srhver trarbrg mismunandi og alls ekki eins. etta er grundvllur fyrir samru meal trarbraga a mnu mati.

Viurkenning um mun

Er g a leggja of mikla herslu mun meal trarbraga? a er j mikilvgt a finna t sameiginlegt atrii meal trarbraga og manna. Jafngildi manneskja og viri sem skpun Gus er str forsenda fyrir okkur og ess vegna get g jna flki h trarlegum bakgrunni raun.

Engu a sur tel g a samstaa sem forast a horfast augu vi mun s eins og hs byggt sandi. a ltur t fyrir a vera gilegt gu veri, en stenst ekki egar stormur slr. Byggist reianleg samstaa og gagnkvmur skilningur ekki v a vi fyrst viurkennum mun okkar milli og san finnum hva trarhefir okkar eiga sameiginlegt?

annig er vileitni til samrna meal trarbraga allt anna en a blanda llum trarbrgum saman og gera au eitt ea lta fram hj srkennum hverrar trar og lta eins og a skipti mann engu mli hvaa tr maur ahyllist.

Raunverulegar samrur eru til ess a skapa djp tengsl vi nunga okkar og ngranna samflaginu.

rtt fyrir hara raunveruleikann...Gleileg jl!

,,Gleileg jl".Vi skiptum essari htarlegu kveju hvert vi ara. Oftast heilsum vi rum htarlegu og skemmtilegu jlaskapi. Jlin eru gleilegar dagar.

En samt vitum vi samtmis a jlin eru ekki endilega gleilegur tmi fyrir alla.

Vi vitum a str er gangi nokkrum lndum og a mrg brn, konur jafnt sem eldra flk eru orin a skotmarki. Vi vitum a a eru grtandi foreldrar sem misstu brn sn vegna hryllilegs ofbeldis. Vi vitum a a er margt flk sem tapa hefur llu vegna rsar nttrhamfara heiminum.

Vi vitum a flk ftki br samflaginu hr. Vi vitum a sjklingar halda fram barttu sna gegn erfium sjkdmum mean jlin standa lka. Vi vitum a a er alltaf margt flk meal okkar, sem liur illa af einhverri eigin stu.

Jlin eru, ef til vill, ekkert gleilegt tkifri fyrir marga, marga og marga jararba.

egar vi veltum v fyrir okkur, getum vi hika vi a segja htt ,,Gleileg jl". Er a ekki skortur tillitssemi a segja ,,Gleileg jl" vi flk erfileikum ea sorg? Okkur langar a byrja a hvsla kvejunni aeins a takmrkuu flki sem er stu til a njta jlanna.

En vi megum ekki gera slkt. Af v a ef vi gerum a, ir a a vi reynum a afmarka ,,gleileg jl" aeins fyrir menn sem eiga ekki erfileikum.

Og verur merking jlanna alveg andst snnu merkingunni.

Ljs aventunnar er til ess a lsa eim sem sitja myrkri, og glei jlanna er til ess a frelsa sem eru bundnir vi rvntingu, sorg ea jningu. eir sem eiga erfileikum ea sorg eiga a standa kastljsi jlanna.

,,Gleileg jl" ir ekki a jlin su gleileg. ,,Gleileg jl" er viurkenning okkar um tilvist flaga okkar jrinni sem sitja myrkri enn og ,,Gleileg jl" er sk okkar um a glein ni til eirra fyrst og fremst. ,,Gleileg jl" er stafestingarkveja um a Gu hugsar til eirra sem eiga erfileikum jafnt sem alla ara jararba.

v hikum vi ekki vi a kvejast htt:
,,Gu gefi okkur llum gleileg jl"!

-Myndin er eftir hotblack

Gjf, framlag og glei

Jlin eru a koma aftur. Persnulega vera etta 21. jlin sem g tek mti hr slandi. g hef teki eftir v a nokkur breyting hefur tt sr sta um hvernig g nti daga aventunnar essum tveimur ratugum.

Fyrstu rin mn hrlendis var g giftur og brnin mn tv voru ltil. g tti enga ttingja hr en samt voru litlir frndur og litlar frnkur allt kringum mig og annig voru aventan og jlin miki tengd vi „gjafir".

Mr fannst srlega gaman rettn daga egar slensku jlasveinarnir heimsttu brnin mn. Satt a segja ba g aldrei um a fra brnunum mnum kartflur, heldur um a koma me eitthva skemmtilegt. g held a a hljti a hafa veri flki a finna gar og drar gjafir skinn rettn daga r. Aventan var vissu tmabili skorun fyrir mann a brna skpunargfu sna.

Nna eru brnin mn orin str og jlasveinarnir httu heimsknum til eirra n ess a rfra sig vi mig. g arf ekki a undirba jlagjafir fyrir fleiri en fjra ea fimm. Samtmis f g bara rj ea fjra pakka fyrir sjlfan mig. a skiptir litlu mli en g sakna ess a gefa ekki fleiri jlagjafir.

a gleur mig neitanlega meira a gefa gjf en a iggja hana. g er a velta fyrir mr hvers vegna mr finnst a, kannski m g segja a mr li eins og g ni jkvtt samband vi vitakanda, jafnvel skamma stund, me v a gefa honum gjf.

g viurkenni a slk tilfinning gti veri ekkert anna en „sjlfsngja mn" og v gti a valdi gindum fyrir vitakanda. Engu a sur get g ekki heldur neita eirri glei sem a „a gefa gjf" frir mr, ea merkingu ess a „gefa" yfirleitt mannlfi okkar.

Ht Gus og hversdagslf okkar

Vi kirkjunni segjum a messa s gleileg ht, ar sem vi megum koma saman me hinar msu gfur okkar. Prestur flytur prdikun, organisti spilar frisla tnlist og krinn syngur fallega. a gti einnig veri einkasngur, leikur barna ea ljaupplestur, allt eftir tilefni. Allir mega koma me sitt framlag til a fagna ht Gus.

Stundum gti maur spurt sig: „Hva um mig? Hef g hef ekkert fram a fra? „Miskunnsemi knast mr en ekki slturfrn og gusekking fremur en brennifrn" (Hs. 6:6). Gjafir ea framlg okkar sem skipta Gu mli eru krleikur okkar og tr, en alls ekki „srhfni" okkar einhverri grein. v arf ekki a hafa hyggjur af slku.

Og etta varar ekki eingngu messuna. a m segja a hver og einn einasti dagur lfs okkar s drmtur og htardagur. A gefa getur veitt meiri glei en vi erum mevitu um. Hve auvelt er, eftir allt, a gleyma eirri glei? Vi gtum grti af v a vi hfum ekki ngileg tkifri til a gefa, vi eigum ekki marga skuvini til a senda gjf ea vi erum ekki me neitt srstakt til a leggja fram til Gus.

Ef til vill miskiljum vi a a „a gefa gjf" ea „a veita framlag" eigi a vera mlanlegt. En a sem skiptir mli eru vihorf ess sem gefur. Gefum vi af v a a varar lfsgildi okkar og birtist daglega gjafmildi okkar, ea gefum vi af v a a er tlast til ess af okkur?

„Slla er a gefa en iggja" (Pos. 20:35) eru or Jes. a er gaman a gefa og iggja gjafir kringum jlin. En til ess a njta hinna snnu vergilda gjafmildi, bi okkar vegna og annarra, eigum vi ekki fyrst og fremst a minnast endalausrar nar sem vi iggjum fr Jes Kristi, og a sem vi getum gefi rum uppsprettu sna henni?

-Fyrst birt Mbl. 5. desember sl.-

Tilgangur ,,sr"jnustu

ekki i ,,srjnustuprest"? Srjnustuprestur er t.d. fangaprestur, prestur fatlara ea sjkrahssprestur, sem s, prestur sem starfar fyrir tilteki mlefni ea hj stofnun eins og sptala ea elliheimili. eir eru ekki bundnir vi skn, sem er hefbundin grunneining skipulagi kirkjunnar. A v leyti eru eir ,,sr". N starfa um 18 prestar fyrir fanga, fatla flk, innflytjendur, sjklinga sptlum o.fl.

En af hverju srjnustuprestar? Tvr spurningar munu koma upp. fyrsta lagi geta prestar sknum ekki sinnt mlum sem tilheyra srjnustu? ru lagi hvetur ,,srjnustan" ekki askilna tiltekins hps fr rum, eins og fatlas flks fr rum, ea innflytjenda fr slendingum?

Fyrstu spurningunni er ausvara. Oftast krefst kvei mlefni meiri srekkingar en venjulegu prestsstarfi. T.d. arf prestur heyrnarlausra a n tkum tknamli og prestur innflytjenda verur a hafa ekkingu lggjf o.fl. sem varar tlendinga. jnusta sjkrahsspresta krefst hrri menntunar slgslu en venjulegur sknaprestur arf a hafa.

Og einnig tekur a mikinn tma a sinna flki almennilega. Ef maur sr hve miki sjkrahsprestur er upptekinn sinni jnustu, mun essi fyrsta spurning hverfa.

Sari spurningunni mun g svara annig. Tilgangur srjnustunnar er ekki a askilja kvei flk fr ru flki. En a er satt a vi urfum a veita ruvsi jnustu vi flk t.d. me ftlun ea flk srstkum astum eins og fangelsi. En a sem vi srjnustuprestar sjum jnustu okkar er ekki ftlun, sjkdmur ea framandi tunguml, heldur mtum vi manneskjum. Og manneskjur eru j mismunandi lfskjrum.

g vil meina a agreining milli hefbundinnar prestsjnustu og srjnustu s einungis tknileg. Srjnustuprestar nota ruvsi nlgun en sknarprestar til a kafa mlin mismunandi og oft erfium astum, eirri vileitni a mta flki eim astum sem a er statt og styja a. Vi jnum undir kjrorunum: ,,ll erum vi Gus brn".

-Fyrst birt MBL. 25. oktber 2012-

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