Talking About God, Bavarian Style

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”- Philippians 2:9-11   

Living in Bavaria has certainly given Lizzy and I a different perspective on things.  For instance most stores close at 6:00 P.M. and on Sunday which is "Ruhe Tag" or "Quiet Day"  everyone spends time with family and all stores are closed. No lawn mowing, no car washing, no do it yourself auto repair- it's just not done on Sunday and if you try to, your neighbors will kindly let you know that Sonntag is Familien Tag (Family Day.)... Time for picnics, hiking, biking, or just relaxing.  God said something about that in Genesis as I remember.   

What's really nice and refreshing here is that much of life in southern Bavaria revolves around a daily acknowledgement of and reverence for God.  Here most every town square (Platz) has a crucifix or a figure of Mary as a central figure. Houses here are decoratively painted with murals depicting biblical scenes and passages or have crucifix displays on their sides.  People greet one another they know or even strangers with the saying "Gruss Gott"  ( literally 'God greets you') when they meet on the street or when they walk into shops. Yes... just walking into a shop they say to all inside "God greets you."  In Philippians, Paul reminds us all that one day everyone who has ever lived, living now or will live is going to confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God the Father.  The Bavarians believe that keeping God on their lips in greeting is another way to remind themselves that they will, as Paul said, confess Jesus as Lord and so they do it every time they greet anyone.  Every time I do it it brings a smile to my face.  While it might be out of place there in Colorado, if you think of it the next time you meet a fellow church member, neighbor or indeed a stranger say "Hello, God bless you."  Think of it as a daily friendly reminder that God is present in all we do. 

God Bless, 

Matt Schneider,

Your Bavarian missionary.

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