Word of the Month

Silence before God

December 2011

The year that is drawing to a close was a turbulent one. In the news, one negative report followed hard on the heels of the last. There were natural disasters, including earthquakes with some very serious consequences, and there was also great societal and political upheaval. I am thinking of the protest movements, revolutions, and conditions akin to civil war that have taken place around the world. And finally the economy also bears mentioning. Crises in important countries have led to wide-ranging instability.

Perhaps things have also come up and caused upheaval in our personal lives. Our congregations are not exempt from illness and need. In the face of such a restless environment, we are grateful that we have always been able to take refuge in the quiet of the house of God and in prayer. In the proximity of God we have always managed to find rest and recover our peace. There are several biblical examples that illustrate just how important calm and peace are. When, after their exodus, the people of Israel found themselves at the Red Sea with the Egyptians hard on their heels, they were in despair. Moses instilled confidence into the people with the words: “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14: 14). Or take the events at the time of the Lord Jesus. The disciples were out on the lake with the Lord when a powerful storm came up. The disciples feared for their lives. But the Lord rebuked the winds and the sea. And then it says in Scripture: “And there was a great calm” (cf. Mark 4: 39).

We firmly hold on to the certainty that the Lord also reigns supreme over the unrest of our time. Nothing happens without His consent. This knowledge soothes the soul. Naturally this also means that we must bow before the Most High and do our part to contribute to our own peace.

Peaceful greetings for the Advent and Christmas season,

Wilhelm Leber