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Text For The Month / Monatsspruch

Texts for the months of August and September 2012
Monatssprüche für August und September 2012

 

August 2012

Gott heilt, die zerbrochenen Herzens sind, und verbindet ihre Wunden. Psalm 147,3

In dem Buch “It Can Be!”, zur 150-jährigen Geschichte unseres Vereins, habe ich erwähnt, dass die Gründer-Mitglieder sich sonntags verabredeten, welchen prominenten Prediger sie im Abendgottesdienst hören wollten. Dazu gehörte C. H. Spurgeon. Zum Text aus Psalm 147 predigte er 1890 unter dem Titel “Christ’s Hospital”. Hierzu in Übersetzung einige seiner Aussagen:

Viele Menschen verachten diejenigen, die gebrochenen Herzens sind. “Oh, er ist melancholisch, er ist verrückt, er hat einen religiösen Wahn!” Ja, Menschen verachten gebrochene Herzen. Solche, oh Gott, verachtest du nicht! Der Herr wacht über ihnen und heilt sie…

Wenn da so ein Arzt ist und wir gebrochene Herzen haben, dann ist es doch vernünftig, dass wir zuerst zu ihm gehen. Wenn Leuten gesagt wird, dass sie ein unheilbares Gebrechen haben, das sie bald ins Grab bringt, sind sie verzweifelt. Aber wenn sie irgendwo hören, dass es doch Heilung für ihre Krankheit gibt, sagen sie, “Wo? Wo?” Nun, vielleicht tausend Meilen entfernt; aber sie sind bereit zu gehen, wenn sie können. Oder die Arznei ist unangenehm oder sehr teuer; doch sie wissen, dass sie geheilt werden, dann sagen sie, “ich will sie haben”. Wenn jemand an deine Tür käme und sagte, “hier ist sie, sie wird dich heilen; und du kannst sie umsonst haben, soviel du willst”, da wäre es leicht, jede Menge Arznei loszuwerden, solange wir Kranke finden.

Nun, wenn du heute Nacht ein gebrochenes Herz hast, wirst du froh sein, Christus zu haben. Ich hatte einst ein gebrochenes Herz und ging zu ihm. Er heilte es sofort, und ich sang vor Freude. Junge Männer und Frauen, ich war 15 oder 16 als er mich heilte. Ich wünschte ihr würdet jetzt zu ihm gehen, solange ihr noch jung seid. Aber Alter spielt hier keine Rolle. Jungen und Mädchen können ein gebrochenes Herz haben, ebenso alte Männer und Frauen. Aber sie können zu Jesus kommen und geheilt werden…

Wenn du dich aufmachst zu Christus zu gehen, fragst du vielleicht, “wie soll ich das machen?” Gehe im Gebet… Wenn du keine Worte finden kannst, Tränen sind ebenso gut, sogar besser; und stöhnen und seufzen und heimliche Wünsche sind für Gott annehmbar...

 

September 2012

Am I only a God nearby, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Jeremiah 23.23

The text continues in verse 24: Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? God nearby or far away makes no difference, he sees us. The Bible is full of references to this fact:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139.7-12

It was on a similar theme that I remembered about a year ago a fairy tale, which must have impressed me as a child. I found it again in the “Deutsches Märchenbuch” (1857) by Ludwig Bechstein (1801-1860). As a fitting illustration for the text of this month, I translated and slightly condensed the story from 19th century German into English:

God Everywhere
One day, when the parents walked through the fields to sell their wicker baskets in town, the good children Görgel and Lieschen stayed alone at home. Each had been given a large chunk of bread for the day. Görgel had eaten his in no time, so Lieschen gave him some more of hers.But Görgel still looked for something to nibble and tried to persuade his younger sister to lick with him from the sweet sugar beet syrup mother kept in the larder cupboard. “It is a large pot and mother will not notice; no one will see us anyway.” But Lieschen said: “If you do this, you are very naughty, Görgel. Can’t you see the sun shining on the cupboard? She will show it to God and he will see if we eat on the sly”. Görgel said: “So let’s go into the attic where mother keeps the nice pears. There is no window; the sun can’t come in and God cannot see us”. Picture by Ludwig RichterLieschen tried to resist, but then the children went into the attic, where broken sunrays flooded around the pears through the gaps in the roof tiles. “O Görgel, here too God will see us; we can’t take any pears”. On the way down, Görgel had a new idea. “Hey, in the cellar mother has a little pot with cream. It is impossible that God can see us in the dark.” Görgel took his unwilling sister by the hand and pulled her after him into the cellar, where he carefully closed the door to keep the day out, so that God would not see when they licked from the cream. A little later some light entered the cellar and Lieschen saw the sun come through a small crack in the wall straight at the pot of cream. Lieschen ran frightened back upstairs. Annoyed, Görgel pushed some moss into the crack and started to eat from the cream. A mighty thunder clapped overhead and lightning hit the crack in the wall. The dark shape of a man appeared from a corner, sat himself opposite Görgel, staring with fiery eyes at the pot of cream. Görgel had such a fright, that he could not move a finger and had to sit where he was. In the meantime upstairs an angel joined Lieschen with toys, cookies and sweet milk, and played with Lieschen until the parents returned, happy to see all the nice things. When asked for Görgel, Lieschen realised with dismay, that during the good time with the little angel and all the gifts, she had forgotten her brother in the cellar and cried: “Oh dear God, Görgel is still in the cellar.” All went down, opened the door and there sat Görgel rooted to the spot with the pot of cream. He sobbed as he saw his mother, who took the cream from him and once upstairs, gave him a well-earned smack.

Throughout his life, Görgel has never eaten on the sly and when others tried to involve him in actions shy of the light of day, he always said: “I’m not doing it. The God Everywhere will see it; God protect me”, and became a brave and honest man.

 

Texts selected and translated by B. Hildebrandt
Picture by Ludwig Richter (1803-1884)

 

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