The sermon texts are from the current series of pericopes of the Protestant German Church, Series IV:
1 Peter 3, 8 – 15a
Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. Don't be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God's chosen ones, and he will bless you. The Scriptures say, "Do you really love life? Do you want to be happy? Then stop saying cruel things and quit telling lies. Give up your evil ways and do right, as you find and follow the road that leads to peace. The Lord watches over everyone who obeys him, and he listens to their prayers. But he opposes everyone who does evil."
Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don't worry about what people might do. Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.
Foto European Central Bank ECB, Frankfurt
This bibletext has the makings of a great number one hit! Do you remember the song "Don't worry, be happy"? I admit: that was the generation that is likely to order senior dinner plates today, like me. At that time, Bobby McFerrin sang in the hearts of many people: "Here's a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note: Do not worry, be happy."
The song was ranked # 1 in the US, Germany and Austria in 1988, and # 2 in the UK and in Switzerland. It even received an award, the Grammy Award (1989). That´s a long time ago …
What Peter writes is much older. I have never heard that his lines were suggested for an award.
I also do not know anyone who made a song out of it. Understandable, because the text also has a different direction: "Don't worry, make others happy!" Don´t worry, be happy in making others happy!
Bobby McFerrin's song continues: There are problems in every life. But if you worry, you double it. Might be. But it is clear that I can actually double the problems in other people's lives. By lack of compassion. By "retaliation". When I speak evil and spread lies. In which I disseminate dissatisfaction and always have a row with everyone. Whether others become happy is often up to me! Whether others can live in peace, is also up to me!
Peter writes: Even if you have to deal with people who are constantly picking a quarrel – don´t pay back with the same coin! Even if you lose again. You belong to Jesus Christ. He listens to your prayers and gives you strength to do the right thing. The right thing is always what helps others to live and to be in peace.
A few weeks ago, I took a guided tour through the European Central Bank, here in Frankfurt. Inside the Visitor Center we were informed about the monetary policy. It
was interesting, although I did not understand many things correctly. Two quotes in the Visitor-Center impressed me a lot.
I took pictures of them:
Jean Monnet, one of the Founding Fathers of a United Europe, said: "It's better to fight at a table than on a battlefield". And from Albert Einstein comes the sentence: "Peace cannot kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding”.
Jean Monnet was French and had witnessed two world wars. In June 1944, the Western Allies landed in Normandy (France). Soldiers from France, USA, England, Canada and Poland fought against the “German Wehrmacht”. On May 8, the Nazi-regime sank into ruins. War and terror were finally over. Thank God for it!
A song from Normandy can be found in our protestant hymnbook (No. 416). It is supposed to have been written in the year 1913, before First World War began. It starts like this:
O Lord, make me to a tool of your peace,
that I practice love, where people hate,
that I forgive, where one insults myself,
that I connect where there is strife,
that I tell the truth, where the error prevails,
that I bring the faith, where the doubt expresses,
that I raise hope, where despair torments,
that I strike a light where the darkness rules,
that I enjoy, where the grief lives.
Let us say YES to this challenge! Let us make these requests to be our daily prayer. Let us make Jesus Christ to the Lord of our thoughts and deeds.
A blessed summer time wishing you