Austria: Home Town Activity – What happened to Israel after Jesus?
By Barbara Grabner, FFWPU Austria
Easter time is the most appropriate time to give a lecture about the Mission of the Messiah which provides new insights. The presentation was schedulded one week after Easter when the festivities were over and people had returned from their visits. My lecture carried the title “Jewish Wars and Messianic Figures after Jesus” and was announced by some local newspaper.
The venue was a guest house in the spa Bad Vigaun not far from the city of Salzburg. The lady who owned the guest house had attended some lectures in my home village in 2017. Maria has many friends who are open to interreligious discussion. On Monday April 9, we gathered in the nicely furnished breakfast room. Among the 19 participants were a few new faces as well as our brothers Klaus and Friedrich.
My presentation included parts of the Divine Principle, sections from the book by Dr. Young Oon Kim, and contents from a seminar paper written during my study at Vienna University. The main point was, that the Jews expected wonderful things to happen with the coming of the messiah and that they could not imagine that the saviour would end on the cross. Jesus was one of many men who claimed to be the anointed one during and after the first century AD. Each enjoyed more support by the priesthood than Jesus, but the others brought to their people disaster instead of glory. Just 40 years after Jesus started his public ministry, Jerusalem was completely destroyed. And 100 years after Jesus death, Judea was erased from the map and replaced by Palestine.
Though the first Christians tried hard to win the hearts of their Jewish brothers, they met with little success. Another point was the long-lasting dispute between Jews and Christians about the cause of the disaster. Both sides understood it was a punishment, but the Jews did not connect it with their rejection of Jesus. This and other contents surprised everyone; some new guests were clearly overwhelmed. After two hours of lecture and discussion we sat together and enjoyed the refreshments served by Maria.
Concluding every guest received the booklet “New Light on the Mission of the Messiah” for private study. My network of contacts is growing; people cherish the revelations of the Divine Principle if given innovatively. Unfortunately, Salzburg lacks a FFWPU centre otherwise more things could be achieved. I can only trust God that he leads the people in my absence. In summer I shall return and more lectures will take place.