Monday, Dez 16, 2019. When you are in the middle of trouble, usually you find it difficult to see how it could change. As mankind, we have always been in much trouble. Humans fought for superiority, and war and supression has been and is a part of human history. Even today, there are many countries where freedom is strongly suppressed - personal freedom and the freedom of speech and faith. Billions of people suffer from suppression, I do not want to start picking out individual countries - just take a moment to search “freedom of press world map” and you will get a visual indication of the problem.
Can we comprehend the full breadth of trouble we are still in? Can we be honest with ourselves? Are we trying to avoid the trouble, trying to focus on some good things? It can be a good way to keep you half-way healthy, to survive.
Jesaja: Realism and Vision …
In the middle of big trouble, the prophet Jesaja spoke words which have moved Jews and Christians for many hundreds of years. In Jesaja 9 we read:
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Jes 9, 5-6)
First, the bible shows an unparalleled realism in its analytics. The biblical prophets have named things again and again. Injustice, dishonesty, cruelty is named. The bible does not close its eyes. It opens its eyes and sees the full scale of human behaviour, from heroic engagement for the poor to the cruelty of suppression, war and famine.
At the same time, the biblical texts provide a vision and a path into the future. They describe a framework for our understanding. They see beyond the mere cruelty of mankind. In the middle of this mankind, something different starts. A child is born. A son is given. He is to govern. But his name is not suppression, but “wonderful councesor”.
His Peace …
God's peace is not the peace of suppression. It is not the peace where voices are silenced. It is not the peace of enforced religion. It is not the peace of indoctrination. This peace is different, a peace of freedom, but filled with mercy.
Can we grasp the peace which Jesaja is talking about? Are we really able to understand it? Can we see the depth and sincerity of this peace, at the same time how easy and cheerful it is?
Lay your arms down!
The peace of Jesus is to be received. We cannot gain it by force. WE can not. He is giving it to us for free. He is giving his life, to testify his peace, to gain it, to achieve it. Only death and resurrection seem adequate in the light of human desastrous cruelty and ignorance.
The more I learn about mankind, about science, about reason, about feelings, about business, about war and suppression, technology, about life, the deeper I value the biblical texts, the message about Jesus, his salvation, his truth, his mercy. His peace wins. Thank you, God, for your realism and vision! (Roland Potthast)
This is part of the trilogy project “Faith of a Scientist”.