Healing the Past
Healing the Past
What is the problem?
Humanity is permeated by hostility and division in relationships among individuals (family, neighborhood, school, work, religion) and groups (races, cultures, political persuasions, churches, religions, countries). When divisions become hardened, people are trapped in pain and dysfunction.
What is the solution?
The human heart must be re-formed from being a center of hostility to a source of agape love. Power for this comes from God’s grace, available to all through discipleship to Jesus of Nazareth. Here the new life Christ imparts grows, gradually transforming hatred and violence into forgiveness and love.
Where does Quellen fit in?
Members of Quellen have been active for decades in initiatives of reconciliation between divided individuals and groups: Jew and German, Messianic Jew and Gentile Christians, Roman Catholics and Protestants, and more. The purpose of Quellen is to facilitate us in telling our stories, sharing what we have learned, and developing materials designed to spread the message. Quellen has developed the learning resources below.
Meine Krone in der Asche
Der Holocaust, die Kraft der Verge bung und der lange Weg zur persönlichen Heilung
In our present darkness, how great is the need for godly leaders and ministers formed by Christlikeness in the inner life. The answer to our cry will not be something new. Inspiration and instruction come down to us throughout the millennia of Judeo-Christian history in the lives of our spiritual fathers and mothers.
At some point, living as Christ’s disciple, I am likely to become aware of wounded areas within that are hindering or blocking my maturing. Craziness began when I turned from God and went my own way. Sanity is gradually returning as I rely on Jesus to teach me how life works.
Forgiving my enemy can be hard, especially if I misunderstand what forgiveness is. Forgiveness never denies or minimizes the wrong. It is a way of responding to the wrong. It acknowledges God as Judge and leads to my healing. It changes the effects of the past on the present. Jesus teaches me how. He is just the kind of person who forgives.
God reconciles people who have been separated relationally. This is just the kind of person God is. As we mature toward Christlikeness, we also become agents of reconciliation. This is just the kind of persons we are becoming. But what does the process of reconciliation look like? Are there specific steps?
How is Christ’s glory revealed upon Gentile Nations (Isaiah 60:2)? One way is by force—at the 2nd coming. But force is not God’s preferred way. The second way is by grace—as God heals wounds caused by sin, imbedded in history, through grace-empowered actions of God’s people. Here are four components of such ways with stories connected with healing wounds of the Holocaust.
In 1942, the citizens of Dolny Kubin, Slovakia, rounded up their Jewish neighbors and deported them to the death camp at Auschwitz. In 2012 they came together again, this time to publicly acknowledge the wrongs of the past, to ask for forgiveness, and to honor Israel and the Jewish people. Hanna was invited as a special guest to represent victims of the Holocaust. What power is able to make such events possible? Jesus! He came so that we might become—people increasingly like him on the inside.
Markus and Amalie Zack, Hanna’s parents, were deported from Cologne, Germany, on October 30, 1941, to the ghetto in Lodz, Poland, and ultimately gassed in nearby Chelmno death camp on May 3, 1942. After reading the story in her book A Garland for Ashes (Meine Krone in der Asche in German), the Chemin Neuf Community invited Hanna to Lodz in July 2016 to testify to Christ’s power to heal and transform.
Amalie and Markus Zack, Hanna’s parents, arrived at Radegast Station, Lodz, the beginning of November 1941, and left from there the beginning of May 1942 for their final journey. Today Radegast is a memorial. Hanna shared her story with a group gathered on the Radegast platform.
Changing the effects of the past on the present and the future.
Hanna, a Holocaust survivor, describes her journey and the steps she took to face the harsh truths of the past.
More of Hanna’s past unfolds as Julian poses deep questions about her journey to forgiveness.
God has made each of us responsible for our own decisions. My enemy is responsible for decisions they made to wrong me. I’m responsible for how I am going to respond.
TAKING A PAINFUL LOOK
The History and Nature of Church Divisions is a study aimed at taking a painful look at the shared history of Christianity. Today these divisions are as noticeable as ever, but very few have asked the question as to why they are and how they came to be. By not asking these questions, many inadvertently repeat the failures of our collective past and continue to propagate a divided Christ.
A TRANSFORMATIVE APPROACH
Rooted in the idea that history is best studied from a transformative approach, along with asking questions in regards to the history of church divisions, this study will also challenge by asking questions back of those who partake in it. The aim is not to persuade, convince, or alter the beliefs, values, and convictions of any one stream of the Christian tradition. Instead it is designed to help one become better equipped at locating their own stream and how to relate to those from other traditions
AN ACT OF REPENTANCE
Ultimately this study is an act of repentance. It is a repentance of not taking the call and message of union within Christ seriously. It is a repentance from the way that believers have historically treated one another within the Christian faith. It is a repentance that we might be healed in our hearts towards one another and then truly look at what divides us, only now from a platform of reconciliation and love.
By Daniel Malakowsky
Restored by Love
Restored by Love was the theme of the Paradise in the City Festival organized by the Chemin Neuf Community in July 2016. The Festival hosted over 5000 young people from all over the world in Łódź, Poland, for World Youth Day. Thirty young people from different countries prepared the Festival throughout the year. These young people shared their path of transformation in Christ. Festival speakers (among them Cardinal Luis Antonio Taagle, Bishop Grzegorz Rys, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby) also shared why it is important to allow yourself to be restored by love and how to live after this experience.
One of the striking stories is that of Hanna Miley, Jewish by birth, whose past was closely linked to the city of Łódź during the Second World War. Her testimony shows how God’s mercy can heal and save our lives.
Small Group Sharing
We suggest that you keep a moment of silence after the film to remember the areas of your lives that have been healed. Then you are invited to share the following questions in small groups:
– What touched me or spoke to me in this film? What would I like to keep hold of?
– Have I already been healed by God’s love in my personal story? Do I sense the need for healing in an aspect of my life today?
– Where does healing in my life seem to be impossible from a human viewpoint?
Lord, we pray for all people who need healing in their lives. Help them to open their hearts, heal their lives and approach your love, so they can receive mercy.
We pray that all young people may discover how to live with you in their daily lives. Fill them with your presence.
Lord, give us a merciful heart for others and help us to embody the Beatitudes in our lives.
From the Word
My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only son into the world that we might have love through him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins. My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love each other. No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.
1 John 4:7, 9-12
The laying of Stolperstein in Gemünd for Hanna’s family who perished in the Holocaust.
Holocaust survivor, Hanna Zack Miley, interviewed by Tina Schmidt from Fontis Verlag, the German publisher of her book, the story of a child separated from her parents, an escape on the Kindertransport, the journey to forgiveness and release from bitterness.
As a follow up to Hanna Miley’s book, A Garland for Ashes, this video slideshow gives a visual of many of the places mentioned.