These are the words of Jeremiah, which Pastor Ján Bohdan Hroboň, (Bohdan’s father) always quoted whenever he came to speak to our local church. He would then open his Bible and encourage believers to follow along in their Bibles as well.
Exactly one year ago we celebrated the life of Pastor Ján Bohdan Hroboň on what would have been his 75th birthday. A year later, we are celebrating again, only this time, it is because the biography of the preacher Ján Bohdan Hroboň will be presented at the altar of the Lutheran church in Martin.
Preacher Ján Bohdan Hroboň
The book is called “Kazateľ Ján Bohdan Hroboň” (Preacher Ján Bohdan Hroboň) and has the tagline of the powerful word of God, spoken by the prophet Jeremiah. The book was issued in March of this year by the Lutheran church in Martin. It has over 260 pages and contains words and images of faith, admonishment, and encouragement. The content consists of sermon texts and selections of texts from the congregation’s newspaper and articles reflecting the attitudes about the various social issues of Hobon’s time. The book even contains some fairy tales! The value of the book is enhanced by an index of themes and biblical references.
J.B. Hroboň deals with many of the issues of his time. He writes about “the paganism of today, about the biblical idea of a living church, and about the need to share things with others.” He also focuses on topics such as “relationships between parents and children, the necessity of home missions, secret Christian Christmas, where are the ‘Stephens’ of today, and what language is spoken in heaven.”
Pointed to God
Pastor Hroboň always pointed to God in his sermons. He taught that God is not just interested in the rich and powerful in this world but in those who seem least important—the poor in spirit, children and young people, people who seem miserable but who are blessed in their poverty. “Christ is interested in people who know how to share what they have,” said Pastor Ján, and added that these are “people who are not afraid of loss because they have a treasure that cannot be lost.”
In addition to its serious content, the book also contains fairy tales for children. Stories such as “The Tale of the Bell,” “A Christmas Fairy Tale,” and “A True Story for Grandfathers” touch the heart and soul and can be enjoyed by all readers—not just the youngest.
Take God seriously!
Many of the articles Pastor Ján wrote about then are still relevant today. He often used humor to talk about serious topics because humor was not as controlled as other speech in the communist regime. See for yourself what Hroboň spoke in church: Who is a Barbarian and to Whom Belongs this Honor?; Searching for Reliable Agents and Diviners to ‘Help’; Something from a Pastor in Retirement; To the Attention of our Politicians; I Invite You to Coffee; and As Moses Not Too Happily Struck the Commandments of God! In his texts, J. B. Hroboň called Christians to take God seriously, because in his opinion, danger is still here, and as he said in one of his articles, “Snakes are slithering around us and the strength of their poison lasts and lasts…”
Compiled by our own Bohdan, Pastor Jan’s son
The Vision becomes Reality
Last year when we celebrated Pastor Ján Bohdan Hroboň’s life, believers from all over Slovakia came to Martin for the event. This celebration was unique due to such a large gathering of people who held in common so many countless personal memories of their blessed Pastor Ján Bohdan Hroboň.
For the last fifteen years, his vision for creating a Center for Christian Education in Martin has become a reality. The Bible School, the Lutheran High School, Lutheran Elementary School, Lutheran Preschool and the Lutheran congregation in Martin, are all now identified under the name: Center for Christian Education. His vision became true – it became our reality!