November 12, 2023
Psalm 27, 1
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – to whom shall I be afraid of?
today's stamp commemorates the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was murdered by the Nazis shortly before the end of the war on April 9, 1945. Bonhoeffer was not, what we would call a "desk theologian," but he lived his faith authentically. He drew strength from personal Bible meditation. Prayer and confession, the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount, and a commitment to pacifism were all part of his confession. This made him a dangerous opponent of the Nazi regime.
Bonhoeffer had to suffer much in the hands of Nazi tyranny. One of his most famous prayers is this:
God, to you I call! It is dark in me, but there is light in you; I am lonely, but you do not abandon me; I am fainthearted, but there is help in you; I am restless, but with you there is peace; in me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience: I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me.
In the 27th Psalm, David encourages us to trust completely in God even in the darkest periods of life. When we are tormented by sleepless nights, when we start the day tired and without strength, then we should seek the presence of God like David or Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
David passes on an important experience of faith in this psalm. It helped him when he was attacked by fear. He tells us what helped him when everything around him seemed only dark and threatening. He says: God himself is my light and my salvation, he is the strength of my life, so who should I be afraid of? He says: God IS my light, he IS my salvation. His faith and his trust in the living God both give him courage. In the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ tells us (John's Gospel 8, 12): ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’
So, we are invited to welcome Jesus Christ, the light of the world, into our lives. This light wants to make our soul bright, wants to overcome gloomy thoughts and wants to give us security again with its warmth. This divine light not only makes us bright, but also radiates security. It gives us its lavish love, which warms our hearts. – The Lord Jesus, the light of God, gives us comfort, hope, serenity, inner peace.
David concludes his prayer with a word of comfort (verse 14): “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Within the Psalm there is no pious icing poured over the many sorrowful experiences in life. Rather the certainty shines: it is worthwhile to put our hope in God in all circumstances and difficulties. It is good to let Jesus Christ into our lives, to open our hearts to HIM. So that we get clear thoughts and a clear head again through God's Spirit. Jesus, the light for our world, can warm up every heart again that may have become ice-cold, awaken it to new life and fill it with joy and comfort.
I wish you a heart flooded and filled with God's love and light. I wish you a heart filled with God's peace amid this unpeaceful world!
Thank you for listening to me. I cordially invite you to the next devotion with stamps on December 1. Until then, I wish you God's blessing and preservation in spirit, soul, and body through our Lord Jesus Christ.