Why don't people believe a braggart
"That blew me away"
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Spiritual word on the 16th Sunday after Trinity (27.09.2020) from Prelate Traugott Schächtele
"I would never have thought that I would sit in a television studio and say: The smartest sentence I heard today was a quote from the Bible from Paul!" This sentence comes from the publicist and presenter Thea Dorn. She said it some time ago in the evening talk with Markus Lanz.
There are sentences in the Bible that go irresistibly under your skin. Even when someone - like Thea Dorn in the same program - claims to be non-religious and "structurally rather bleak". On the way to the studio she had seen a banner hanging on a church that read: “God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of strength and love and prudence.” “This Bible quote,” continues she continued, “I was blown away in a certain way because I got the impression that at the moment we are massively guided by the spirit of fear and not by the spirit of strength, love and prudence. And I think it's not a good thing when society starts to let the spirit of fear rule it. "
What was meant for Thea Dorn at the time with regard to the first months of life under corona conditions seems to be based on a general experience. Otherwise the writer of Timothy 2 would not have written this sentence in the first part of his letter. It is the self-testimony of a person who sees himself as standing in the tradition of Paul. And who really writes with an enviable fearlessness. And it is one of the sentences of the New Testament that people immediately understand - and as can be seen from the experience just described - even people who may have never heard of 2nd Timothy.
The writer of this letter does not hold back with his attitude of fearlessness. However, he does not do this out of a particularly pronounced self-awareness. The cause of his special way of dealing with the challenges of the world is more a kind of mission consciousness. It is the fact that someone has put death in its place that allows it to deal so fearlessly with the billowing waves of life. The experience of Easter morning “knocked him down” with a completely different force than the banner with the Bible verse did the moderator Thea Dorn. And it makes him talk and write - like his colleague two thousand years later in the Hamburg studio.
Two or three generations after the events of Jesus from Nazareth, the external framework conditions were certainly no more carefree than ours - despite Corona and everything that affects life. Illnesses in abundance - without high-tech clinics with their intensive care units that can be reached quickly. The exuberance of the first decades of a growing number of people and numerous church plantings has given way to the need to maintain and stabilize the newly growing structures of the church. Spiritual free riders use the opportunity to question the basic existence of faith in the general uncertainty and to bring their own messages to the people. Now is the time to consolidate. It was like that back then. Today, I think, too. It's not about keeping your own ranks tightly closed. On the contrary. A mentality of withdrawal from the world is usually the beginning of the end of a movement. I prefer to stick to the wisdom of Jesus: "He who is not against us is for us!" (Mark 9:40)
Without the Spirit of God, I can easily lose my footing here.
That is why I trust the spirit of strength, which tears me out of the lethargy of disbelief and lets me take my steps courageously.
That is why I trust the spirit of love, because this spirit tears me out of my self-limitation and the eternal circling around itself.
Therefore, not least, I trust this spirit with prudence. After all, I don't want to blindly fail at the next corner, but rather use my energies sensibly.
This spirit is good for us these days. The world as well as the church. To me as an individual as well as to the whole society in which I live. And it leaves no one “structurally rather bleak”. To be honest: I would also like to have a little more of the impartiality with which Thea Dorn was able to expose herself to this sentence. In her experience that it somehow "blew" her away, this very spirit was at work. And has added a new, completely different one to the many calling stories. It's too good not to be true!
Psalm prayer (Hanns Dieter Hüsch)
I am happy, redeemed, liberated.
God took my time in his hands.
My feeling, thinking, hearing, saying,
my triumph and despair,
The misery and the tenderness.
What makes me so happy
I sing and dance here and there
from the child's bed to the corpse.
What makes me so fearless
A ghost comes into my mind
want to carry me through life.
What makes me so carefree
and no tribulation holds me
because my god teaches me to laugh
probably all over the world.
caught in the fear you live with
Do not be afraid, caught in your fear.
carried by his word, from which you live.
Do not be afraid, carried by his word.
sent into the new day that you live for.
Do not be afraid, sent into the new day.
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