When did Mary and Joseph lose Jesus?

Mary & Joseph

Regional Bishop Meister: Maria is a spiritual figure of identification

The Hanoverian regional bishop Ralf Meister observed in the Protestant church a turn towards Mary the mother of Jesus. "Maria is an important spiritual figure to identify with," said the Protestant theologian of "Welt am Sonntag" in an interview at Christmas.

"The Protestant access to her was certainly blocked for a long time because Mary was pushed into the role of advocate by Catholic teaching," said Meister. In the 19th and 20th centuries, non-biblical dogmas were also put forward about them. "In the meantime, however, I am experiencing a great willingness in the Protestant Church to see Mary as the woman who has an exclusive relationship with God because she is in close proximity to Jesus from birth to the cross," explained the Hanoverian regional bishop.

Master also expressed admiration for the biblical figure Joseph. He is "a wonderful man because despite understandable doubts he marries the illegitimate pregnant Maria". He accepts his "social fatherhood" in a way that makes him the model of fathers in today's family models.

(epd, December 24, 2011)

Maria - Servant of God or Mother of God?


Mary is by far the most important saint in the Catholic Church. Even before Christianity there were different "mother goddesses" in some religions: Isis, Artemis, Demeter and Cybele.

Mary plays a rather modest role in the Bible (in the New Testament) in the Gospels. She is the woman who gave birth to Jesus and is consistently referred to as the “mother of Jesus”. In some places she appears as his mother, always in a serving role.

At the time when the first Christian churches were born and grew, your person does not seem to have played a role, because in all Bexclaimed (and they make up the bulk of the New Testament) it is not mentioned.

With the growth of the church from purely individual communities, the magisterium and the papacy came into being to secure the unity of the church. Here the role of Mary was dealt with early on.

At the Council of Ephesus in 431 it was decided that Mary should be the "Theotokos" to be considered - against the view that it is the “The bearer of man”. Mary is the first addressee of God's saving action towards human beings. This emphasis on the role of Mary led to further definitions of the church in binding principles of faith (dogmas) for 1,600 years. Besides laying down on the "Theotokos" were the "Perpetual virginity of Mary", the "Immaculate Conception" as well as the "Assumption of Mary into Heaven" to infallible Catholic doctrines. Anyone who does not advocate this or who doubts it is carrying out a “complete apostasy from the divine and catholic faith” (Pope Pius VII 1950).

At the same time, devotion to Mary grew throughout the church. Believers invoke Mary as a saint and consider her a mediator to the risen Jesus Christ.

With the Reformation by Martin Luther 500 years ago, there was an extensive concentration in faith on the person of Jesus Christ. Belief in him alone (and nothing else) justifies people - according to his knowledge from the Bible study (sola fide = 'By faith alone' and solus christ = 'Through Jesus Christ alone').

The previous saints, including Mary, thus lost their outstanding importance as mediators.

Saints are no longer worshiped in the Protestant Church. The ancient figure of St. Catherine in the side altar of the Oldendorfer Church was placed on the floor (and later in the museum in Stade; it can be found in the Swedish Storage Museum).

As Protestants we assume that everyone has direct access to the triune God - and no longer needs mediators and advocates like the saints (and also the Church! ...).

Recently, however, the requests from Christian women to the churches of the Reformation to focus more on the role of Mary again, because Mary and her trust are exemplary and one can learn from her role. However, whether the role of Mary as serving and subordinate woman - which is the traditional and therefore so fascinating image of this woman - also corresponds to a contemporary image of women is controversial.

However, attempts to re-establish Mary as a woman in need of salvation in the evangelical church are strongly rejected, because salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone - and no other person.

The misunderstanding that Mary is, so to speak, 'the Church' (as a picture from Revelation 12: 1 might suggest) is also contradicted. Rather, according to the conviction of the predominant interpreters of the Bible, “the church” is the people of Israel with its 12 tribes.

The unchanged valid Catholic doctrine of Mary still poses a rather hopeless problem in the context of ecumenism.

Supported by Catholic (and Orthodox!) Teaching, the cult of Mary continues to develop all over the world.

According to the evangelical understanding, however, this distracts from the only salvific preoccupation with Jesus Christ.

(Text: Burkhard Ziemens)


Ave Maria(the western church)

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord be with you.

You are blessed among women

and blessed is the fruit of your body, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners

now and at the hour of our death.


(Name of a basic prayer of the Catholic Church for the invocation of Mary, the mother of Jeus Christi; source: Wikipedia)


Why did Mary have to be a virgin?

Hanover (epd). The big secret of Christmas is that God came to people as a child in the manger, said hannoveRegional Bishop Margot Käßmann on Thursday evening in Hanover. She never understood why Mary, as the mother of Jesus, had to be a virgin in the biblical tradition. "If God became a real person, nothing stands in the way of normal conception and birth for me," said the evangelical bishop in the market church.

In the oldest traditions in the New Testament, talk of virginity in the sexual sense is still completely unknown, emphasized Käßmann. This idea was also rather alien to the Jewish world of faith. It was only with Greek philosophy and its influence on Christian thought that virginity became so important. This also suppressed the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters who were clearly named in the Bible.

Nevertheless, she could identify well with the creed “born of the Virgin Mary”, said Käßmann: “I am not thinking of virginity in the sexual sense, but of a courageous young woman who was open to what God had in mind for her . “May Mary be a woman for her who miraculously became the mother of the Son of God. It is always a gift from God when life is born.

(epd Lower Saxony-Bremen / b3727 / 17.12.04) Copyright: epd-Landesdienst Niedersachsen-Bremen

Knocking on the door - refugees today or my Christmas short story

But it happened at that time ... or on December 24th, 2014 in the Stade district.

In the early hours of the morning, a concerned citizen alerted the authorities. He had discovered a young family who lived in a stable. Upon arrival, the social services officers, assisted by police officers, found an infant who had been wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feeding station by his mother, who was only 14 years old, a certain Maria from Nazareth.

When the mother and child were arrested, a man who was later identified as Joseph, also from Nazareth, tried to deter the social workers. Josef, supported by present farm workers and three unidentified foreigners, wanted to prevent the child from being taken, but was prevented by the police. The three foreigners who described themselves as “wise men” from an eastern country were also arrested. Both the Home Office and Customs are looking for clues about the origins of these three men who appear to be illegally in the country. A police spokesman said they did not have any identification on them, but they were in possession of gold and some potentially banned substances. They resisted the arrest, claiming that God told them to go home immediately and avoid contact with any official body. The chemicals they carried were sent to the crime lab for further investigation. The whereabouts of the baby will not be disclosed until further notice. A quick clarification of the whole case seems very doubtful. In response to inquiries, an employee of the social welfare office said: “The father is middle-aged and the mother is definitely not of legal age. We are currently checking with the authorities in Stade and Hanover how the two relate to one another. "

Maria is in the Elbe Clinic in Stade for medical and psychiatric examinations. She can expect charges. Because she claims that she is still a virgin and that the baby is from God, her spiritual state is examined more closely. In an official communication from the head of psychiatry, it says: “It is not my place to tell people what to believe, but if that belief leads to endangering a newborn baby, as in this case, then these people must be classified as dangerous. The fact that drugs, presumably distributed by the foreigners present, were on the scene does not help to instill confidence. However, I am sure that with the necessary treatment, everyone involved can become normal members of our society again in a few years. "

Last but not least, this information reaches us: The farm workers present unanimously stated that a tall man in a white nightgown with wings (!) On his back had ordered them to go to the stable and let the newborn live high for his birthday. A spokesman for the drug search said: "That's pretty much the stupidest stupid junkie excuse I've ever heard. " (Author unknown. Editing: Jörg Wustmann)

I found this humorous depiction of the Christmas story on the Internet. But what if Mary and Joseph really knock on our door on Christmas Eve. It would definitely not be humorous, it would be embarrassing - would it?

In 2012, reporters for the Frankfurter Neue Presse disguised as Maria and Josef dared the experiment in Frankfurt. You can find the whole article on the Internet at: "How it is for Mary and Joseph today."

The two reporters walked through the city late in the afternoon before Christmas Eve, the man with a large backpack and the woman disguised as heavily pregnant. They said they had no money and no friends in town and that the birth was imminent. The reactions of the addressed people were as follows:

In front of a tenement house - "It doesn't work for me, I'll be picked up right away." One becomes clearer with the neighbors "It's your own fault, you should have thought about that earlier." An elderly lady - "Only normal people live here, you don't even have to try."

Then a man (47) lets her into his apartment. After a moment's hesitation, the father of two boys asks “Maria and Joseph” to come in. "I didn't mean to just send you away like that", he says. Then he grabs his laptop and the phone and finds a cheap hotel room.

The caretaker of an Evangelical Reformed Congregation hardly helps. "I am not allowed to let you into the parish hall"he explains. He doesn't want to disturb the pastor either. Instead, he sends “Maria and Joseph” to the shelter for the homeless, so he thinks someone is pregnanten woman a walk of about an hour.

The big surprise follows at a villa across the street. The well-to-do residents who disturb you decorating your Christmas tree let you into the hallway. The sons bring an upholstered chair and sparkling water for “Maria”. Then the family organizes a hotel reservation and gives them 70 euros so that they can pay.

So far, in excerpts, the report from the Frankfurter Neue Presse of December 27, 2012.

A refugee couple from Syria, let's call the woman Iman, which means “faith”, and the man Abdul, which means “servant of God”. Abdul is with Iman, she is pregnant, engaged; they are both on the run. Both are separated by an age difference of about 40 years. The federal government distributes the refugees from Syria to the federal states. These in turn affect the cities and towns. We are also looking for accommodation - and suddenly there is a knock ...

How do we react? How do i react? In all honesty ... I don't know. Do I ask the heavily pregnant girl and the much older man in, or do I turn them away on some pretext.


Let me practice on others

what you did to me

and my loved ones

happy to serve everyone

without selfishness and hypocrisy

and, as you showed me,

out of pure love alone. (ECG 61.7)


(Text: Jörg Wustmann)