Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019. Films about lover's grief are everywhere. In modern times we share the excitement of falling in love. Love is one of the ingredients which cannot be left out in any film which wants to be popular and successful. We all know what happens when love is not returned, when she wants love, but he is not willing to give love, or the other way around. We all know the feeling when “she broke my heart” or “he broke my heart”.
Today, we come to this phrase in a slightly different framework: when it comes to God. Here, the broken heart is addressed in the framework of our relationship to God, the creator, the center of the universe.
Contrite Heart …
In Psalm 51 we hear King David speak about his relationship to God. He talks about his heart, about his spirit, about turning to God and about the restoration of the relationship. Let us read a little:
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51, 16+17)
What is it that is important for God? We cannot give him power. We cannot give him any money, or riches, or whatever. He is the Lord of the heaven and the earth. He has created everything. What do we want to give him? What is it we think we might use to please him?
But God is the holy God. He is truth. He is love. He is mercy. He is compassion. He is dedication. If we can give anything at all to him, we can orient ourselves towards his truth, his love, his mercy, his compassion and his dedication. Faith is in the center of Christianity, and faith means exactly that: to become truthful about ourselves and everything else. To start to discover what love means. To start to discover his mercy and become mercyful ourselves. To be filled by compassion. And to start to be full of dedication, to gain the freedom which Jesus showed.
Peace - Shalom …
God wants us to be full of self-confidence, but in a way where it is fully truthful and based on reality. And it is part of reality that without him we are lost. We cannot be as good as he is. We do things which we despise ourselves. When you realize your own failures in an honest way, it can break your own heart. Too many of us try to hide their failures. We all do it, I do it. But when you look into reality, you can become quite sad about yourself.
David talks about a broken spirit. He talks about his own sin, his own failures. He stands before God, he realized how good and loving and truthful God is - and it breaks his heart and spirit to see how badly he treated others and God in particular. “Create in me a clean heart!” That is the wish of David. It can be our wish as well - an adequate wish when we compare reality with what could be and should be.
God gives healing. He gives a new heart - it has been promised in Christ Jesus, and it becomes reality when we come to Jesus in faith. He gives peace for our heart, an unbelievable “shalom”. When we come to God with a broken heart about our own sin and the state of our soul and life, he is there with open arms and healing power. Good news, indeed! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts