Deutsche Weihnachten

Today we had our first practice for Deutsche Weihnachten. This is a pretty cool event, unlike anything else anywhere (except for Germany, they have them all over the place). Basically, It’s a church service entirely in German. The scripture readings are in German, the songs are in German, even the sermon is German (to be delivered this year by Austin McCabe-Juhnke). So to get ready for that even this Sunday at seven in Bethel College Mennonite Church, the Concert Choir, along with Men’s Ensemble and Women’s Chorus, met in BCMC at noon today and sang through our German hymns. It’s pretty tough–at least it is for me–because few people are fluent German speakers, and many of us just flat-out have no idea what we’re saying. As you might have deduced, I belong in the latter category. The only German I know is Gesundheit. It means, of course, “You just sneezed.”So why am I so excited about this thing on Sunday? I won’t know what’s going on ever and it will all sound like gibberish to me, I know. But it’s cool because a lot of people do know what’s going on, and the only place it is going on is here, at Bethel College. This Sunday, the people who congregate at BCMC will do so to honor centuries of German heritage. Many of us here belong to such distinguished lineages, and the rest of us are surrounded by it on a daily basis.Deutsche Weihnachten is very difficult to spell correctly, but an honor to be a part of.