Last Wednesday, October 3rd, didn’t only mark the 28th anniversary of the German Reunification; that day also marked the beginning of the ‘German-American Year’ a special year of commemoration of U.S.- German relationships. The motto for this year is, ‘Wunderbar Together’.

I personally think it’s a great motto; many non-German speakers know what ‘wunderbar’ means. And this motto emphasizes that together, we are better and stronger and can accomplish things nobody – or no nation – can accomplish on their own.

There are some couples here today where one partner is German, and the other is American. Isn’t that a great example of ‘Wunderbar together’?

And beyond romantic partnerships, there are friendships and partnerships between organizations and businesses. Wunderbar together!

Now the Bible points out over and over how important it is that have relationships, and that we do everyything in our power to strengthen community. God’s vision is for all people and peoples to come together and live peacefully with one another.

Now as we all know, we are still far from this vision. There are tensions between people – and peoples. The political and economic relationships between the U.S. and Germany are strained right now. Individualism and isolationism are on the rise.

In all of that, may we not forget that we all depend on each other. We are wunderbar – together. And my prayer is that we foster relationships and bring healing, where human bonds are broken. For together, we are stronger – and better.

So let us pray with words of St. Francis, whose feast day we also just commemorated and who is the patron saint of San Francisco:

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

May God bless us all. May God bless our wunderbar togetherness, here today and on every day. And let us give thanks for all God provides: partnerships, fellowship, and food.