Kites of Teufelsberg
A few minutes walk from our apartment is the 120-meter high, man-made Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain). This hilltop plateau with views of the city and the surrounding Grunewald (Green Forest) was made from some 75 million cubic meters of rubble from the second world war. It is frequented by tourists and locals, who come to take advantage of the views and of the wide open space to run their dogs and to fly their kites.
Monday, in spite of the gray and cold dampness of the afternoon, someone was there flying a kite. This is a common sight year round. Often multiple kites and remote controlled gliders and drones are in action simultaneously. But somehow, this week it seemed to me a sign that spring is on the way. Soon the gray landscape of the Grunewald will match its name again! I turned and walked along the edge of the plateau, and I saw below me were several more kites. These, however, were no cause for hope at all, for they were caught, broken and hanging rather forlornly in tree branches.
They reminded me of the lives of so many people who have lost hope, countless individuals, who for awhile may have soared, but who are now caught in the ugly entangling circumstances of life–trapped by their own unwillingness and inability to do what they were created to do.
Kites, it seems, are always in danger from trees. (Remember Charlie Brown and his kite-eating tree?) But the problem isn’t really the trees. As long as kites remain connected to the kite flyer, they remain free to do what they were created to do, which is fly! As soon as a kite breaks free from the string or in rebellion gets away from its master, it will inevitably be lost and caught, unable to ever fly again . . . unless it is rescued.
Sin, which is a term for rebellion against God, breaks the connection we have with Him, and leaves us unable to achieve our created purpose, which is to live in relationship with Him. Away from the Master, we find ourselves caught by our own sins, trapped and hopeless. And unless we are rescued, we have no hope of ever being free.
But praise God, He has come to rescue us!
In light of our metaphor, it is interesting, how! For when we consider the Cross of Jesus, we see there a figure caught and hanging on a tree–broken, lifeless, seemingly without hope. But when we look beyond the Cross, we discover His broken and lifeless body raised up in the resurrection on the third day and ascended back into the heavens. The Scriptures teach us that by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus we are granted the forgiveness of our sins. Through faith in Christ, we are set free, and we are also raised up to eternal life and ascended with Him into the heavens. May we receive this gospel and fly again for His glory!