Dear members of Oikosnet Europe, dear friends!
Do you understand the figure of speech in the above title? It is an idiom in the German language that means that something actually impossible has happened to someone. In English maybe: "It just fell into someone's lap". But that is not the same, because so the reference to the Christmas story is completely lost.
I'll come back to that. But first I will write what everyone is writing these days: We are at the end of a very special year. I don't remember since I can think and observe that an experience like the pandemic of Covid-19 has ever moved the whole world, kept everyone on their toes and confronted humanity with problems that have not yet been solved. At the same time, we know that this one experience could distract us from so much that has also taken place - in our personal lives, in our institution, in Belarus, in the USA, in ... We still see the many young people who have taken action against climate change under the name "Fridays for Future". We still see the masses who have let themselves be called onto the streets by the "Black Live Matters" movement.
How may this be …?
Educational events have become difficult. A lot of things, if we didn't want to cancel everything, had to be converted into virtual formats, at least temporarily. Yet education needs encounters. And when it becomes essential, we have to be able to look each other in the eyes. This year, too, it became clear how fake news and conspiracy theories can proliferate virtually and on social media to an unprecedented extent. What does this mean for our educational efforts? And how do we have to shape our commitment to peace, justice and the integrity of creation, to solidarity and well-being for all in the future? How may this be, that something changes for the better?
In Luke's Christmas story, Mary asks the angel who comes to her this very question: "And Mary said tot he angel, How may this be, because I have had no knowledge of a man?" (Luke 1,34).
"And the Angel in answer said to her, The Holy Spirit will come on you …" (Luke 1,35).
The Holy Spirit will come on you …
The changes to the better will not come "like the virgin get the child". But just our own efforts will not be enough either. We cannot all always do more. Cooperation, consistent cooperation across borders will be necessary. Confidence in our own abilities and experience certainly too. And then still this hope that a good spirit will come to our aid. "The Holy Spirit will come on you …"