Cordula Schmit-Wassmuth

awarded the prize for the best German sermon 2018 

 

Bonn (idea) – Rev. Cordula Schmid-Waßmuth (Nienburg) will receive the German Preaching Prize 2018 for the best sermon according to a press release by the jury. At the heart of the excellent sermon is the figure of Hanna from the Old Testament First Book of Samuel. The winner for the best sermon of the year is the Rev. Cordula Schmid-Waßmuth from Nienburg. Her sermon was delivered in a German-speaking community in the American capital, Washington DC. It had met with a positiver echo, it said.

The ecumenical preaching prize has been honoring the art of speech in the churches for 20 years. This year, the award ceremony will take place for the first time on Ash Wednesday. The award consists of a bronze plaque. Previous prominent recipients of the ecumenical preaching award for her life's work include Norbert Lammert, Margot Käßmann, Hanns Dieter Hüsch and Walter Jens.

Bonn (idea) – Pfarrerin Cordula Schmid-Waßmuth (Nienburg) erhält nachträglich den Deutschen Predigtpreis 2018 für die beste Predigt. Das geht aus einer Pressemitteilung der Jury hervor. Im Mittelpunkt der ausgezeichneten Predigt steht die Gestalt der Hanna aus dem alttestamentlichen 1. Buch Samuel.

Preisträgerin für die beste Predigt des Jahres ist Pfarrerin Cordula Schmid-Waßmuth aus Nienburg. Ihre Predigt in einer deutschsprachigen Gemeinde in der amerikanischen Hauptstadt Washington sei auf ein großes Echo gestoßen, hieß es.

Der ökumenische Predigtpreis würdigt seit 20 Jahren die Redekunst in den Kirchen. Dieses Jahr findet die Verleihung erstmals am Aschermittwoch statt. Die nicht dotierte Auszeichnung besteht aus einer Bronzeplakette. Zu den bisherigen prominenten Trägern des ökumenischen Predigtpreises für ihr Lebenswerk zählen Norbert Lammert, Margot Käßmann, Hanns Dieter Hüsch und Walter Jens.

Transcript of the Sermon 

The best current sermon 2018

Pastor Cordula Schmid-Waßmuth

Sermon on 1 Cor 1:26-31

First Sunday after Epiphany, 7 January 2018

United Church Washington DC

 

Grace and peace be with you. Amen.

Hanna is a mediocre student in most subjects. There is nothing she can do really well. She is moderately athletic, average in music, and art is not their thing. The curse of mediocrity. Hanna suffers from it. She would like at least to be outstanding in one thing. Like Imke who plays the violin so well, that she won a regional string competition. Or like Tom, who excels in basketball. His team now plays at the state level. If she were at least especially pretty or her parents rich! But no, everything about her life is average. Holidays in exotic countries or exciting amusement parks? No way.

Hanna knows she should be content. She has two dear friends, Leonie and Annika, parents who love her, a little sister with who she gets along, well, mostly - and a grandfather. She loves him very much. Only in school, she is not very popular. She has never been proposed as class president.  And in sports, when teams are selected, she always remains seated until almost the end.

Hanna would like to be something special!

Hanna goes to church with her family on Sundays. She likes to go, the people there are always nice to her. The children's worship service, which she attended for many years, it's been fun. She also often found Sunday school lessons exciting. Ever since confirmation, she has been sitting in the great church service with the adults. Sometimes she thinks there's too much talk. And the music, she doesn't always like it either. Why doesn't a band play? Her classmates know that she goes to church. Was probably a mistake! Now some make fun of her. "Uh, there comes our holy Hanna." Then she turns red and doesn't know what to say.

Once she mumbled: "Nonsense, I have to go, my parents want that." And she's not really sure whether to believe that Jesus is real and that God is really with her. Often Hanna lies awake, looks out of the window into the starry sky and feels so small and insignificant. "I can do nothing, I am nothing', she thinks.

What Hanna does not know: her parents had been longing for a child for many years but it didn't work out. When her parents had already given up, Hanna announced herself. Her middle name is Dorothea, a gift from God. Often, when her mother looks at Hanna she thinks: "God, I am so grateful to you for this wonderful Gift!"

What Hanna doesn't know is that her little sister looks up to her and trusts her - like nobody else in the world. When she is afraid at night, she climbs to her big sister in bed and cuddles up to her happily. How to dress or make a bow, Hanna taught her all that.

What Hanna doesn't know: Her grandfather was devastated when his wife died. His daughter and others tried their best to cheer him up. But Hanna was the only one who could really help him with the loss. Even though she was little at the time. She just hugged him and said "I love you." And then she asked: "Let's play something?" And dealt cards for three. And Grandpa knew without a doubt ask: the third stack was for grandma. Hanna still visits him often and embraces him. And trusts him with her concerns. Then he rejoices that he is her confidante. And he is proud of this because she's the prettiest in his eyes and has so many gifts. When she is not there, he tells everyone who wants to know it - or also those who don’t about his wonderful granddaughter.

What Hanna doesn't know: her friend Leonie doesn't have a father, neither does she have siblings. There are always quarrels with the mother. She would love to have a "real" family like Hanna. Hanna often invites her to dinner when they are together in the afternoon. These are the highlights of the week for Leonie. She admires Hanna, because she's so kind to her family and they laugh so much together. Leonie herself is usually in a bad mood. Unless she is with Hanna. She would like to be like Hanna.

What Hanna doesn't know: Every Sunday, the Marowski couple is happy to welcome her. They have been worried about their community for years. There are not many families there. But once, at the beginning of the divine service, Mrs. Marowski went to her and said, "You know, as long as Hanna and the others are here, I have hope for our community." And now Mr. Marowski always thinks about this when he sees Hanna in church.

What Hanna doesn't know is that there is someone there who wanted her just the way she is.  With all her little gifts and the big ones, she doesn't see. With all the abilities she's yet to develop. And He saw that it was good. There is one who has great plans for her. He has called her to important tasks to fulfill!

And the best thing is: She is already fulfilling them! And He, her creator, looks at her heart. He knows that we are weak and small. But God is already at work. Every morning, when she wakes up, He looks into her heart with love. She thinks it's the first rays of sunlight into which her eyes blink. "Look at yourselves, brothers and sisters! Who has God appointed? There are not many of you who, according to human standards are smart or influential or come from a respected family. God has rather chosen in the world the simple-minded and powerless to humiliate the wise and powerful. He has humbled the lowly and the powerful.

God has called you to fellowship with Jesus Christ. He is our wisdom - the true wisdom that was given to us by God. Through him we can stand before God as righteous. God made us His holy people and freed us from our sins. As is written in the Holy Scriptures: Whoever is concerned with something "Let him boast of what the Lord has done."

And the peace of God, which is so much higher than all our reason, preserve our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.