The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, 1933-45

By J. S. Conway | Go to book overview

Appendix 9: A Christmas Sermon 1936
preached in Solingen

(Source: files of the Old Prussian Union Church, Berlin)

Christmas is the feast of light of our ancestors, the ancient Germans, and so is several thousand years old. In the height of the winter solstice between 23-25 of the Yule month (December), the various members of each family came together under the leadership of the head of the family and met under a tree in the woods. The Winter man, Old Ruprecht, as the representative of the old dying year, appeared and gave out gifts. Burning torches were attached to a tree, and soon the night of deepest darkness was lit up by the burning flames of the Christmas tree. With wide open eyes, young and old stood around the tree. The deepest darkness of the longest night could not take away from them the hope of seeing again the light of the sun, which their God would give them in the coming year. And this is why we still give gifts around the Xmas tree.

Having sung some Xmas songs, our forefathers went home with the knowledge and the joy in their hearts, that despite the deepest night, despite the ice and snow and the darkness, they were not forgotten or forsaken by their God. From now on the sun rose higher day after day and brought warmth and joy into the hearts of our ancestors.

And just as our ancestors did not lose their faith in the coming light and the sun despite the ice and cold of the longest night, yes, indeed even celebrated the festival of light, so we took stand today in the light after long darkness.

Germany, after the Great War, was threatened with collapse. But then he came who, despite the great darkness in so many German

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