Revenge is a real source of inspiration

Room for the wrath of God

Romans 12: 17-21 Do not return evil for evil to anyone. Be mindful of everyone's good. If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, have peace with all people. Do not avenge yourselves, my friends, but give room to the wrath of God; for it is written (Deuteronomy 32:35): “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. ”Rather,“ if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if he thirsts, give him something to drink. If you do this, you will gather coals of fire on his head ”(Proverbs 25: 21-22). Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Impulse for the sermon text for the 4th Sunday after Trinity: Romans 12: 17-21.

Sandra Baier is pastor in
Nellingen / Alb in the church district
Blaubeuren.

"Just wait! Revenge is sweet! ”- this is how many people may have thought themselves when someone has deliberately put obstacles in their way. Fortunately, in our society, revenge is usually just a thought. We know anger, anger and the desire to really show it the other time, but will we really take revenge then? We tend to move around with our resentment and are no longer entirely friends. That is certainly not a solution either.

In other countries, revenge is an integral part of the mentality. Violence breeds violence there and in the end there are only losers.

A story from Papua New Guinea fascinated me: In the heat of the city, an elderly man crouches in front of his hut and carves a piece of wood with a knife. It's Linu. A passerby sits down and watches his work. The wood gradually takes shape. He says: “Yesterday we buried my son. He was a good son. "

Linu had come from the country with his family. They hoped for work and a better life in the city. Then misfortune happened: a member of his tribe ran over an old woman. She just ran into the car. But the woman's blood was now crying out for revenge.

And again a person had to die senselessly: Linu's son was slain. His blood also calls for vengeance. It has always been like this.

While Linu stopped talking, he continued to carve. He carves a cross out of the wood, and the body of the crucified Christ can be recognized more and more. Then he's finished and looks at me for the first time: “My grief is in this wood. My son was a good son, but we are Christians. We don't always have to kill. "

This story is based on a text from the “Ecumenical Reading Book” by Jochen Lay. I thought of them when I read in the sermon text that we should give God room for his anger. We do not have to atone for every wrong ourselves, but excluding anger, anger and thoughts of revenge from our lives would also not be the right way. We are human and there are also these dark feelings in our lives.

Especially when I think of people who have experienced a lot of injustice and violence in their lives, then these feelings are absolutely understandable for me. It is precisely these dark feelings that we can reveal to God, who knows us and understands what concerns us. He is the God of righteousness and it will be good to leave room for his anger.

The image of the dear God that most of us carry within us from an early age often does not help in these moments. I think that in itself is kind of a distorted picture. God is more than we can imagine. There is also the righteous God who finds a way to adequately meet both victims and perpetrators.

Certainly not an easy way, but if you manage to hand over all anger, pent-up aggression and thoughts of revenge to him, then this liberates from the inside out and a new quality of life becomes noticeable without us losing face. We can only win, at least peace with ourselves. A Jewish proverb says: "The best vengeance is a happy life." Therefore: Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good by opening yourself up to God and trust his righteousness.

 

I give you, God, my dark feelings.
Have mercy on me and show me your light.

I give you, God, my agonizing fears.
Have mercy on me and lift me up.

I also give you, God, my heart that is hurt.
Have mercy on me and create me anew.
Amen.

Possibly Municipal bulletin 28/2014 | Life of faith | Sandra Baier