Neige, Herr, dein Ohr und höre! Öffne, Herr, deine Augen und sieh her!
2 Könige 19,16

Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see.
2 Kings 19,16

Dear congregation and friends

The watchword for August is a short phrase out of a prayer King Hezekiah of Judah prayed when he received a threatening letter from Sennacherib, king of Assyria – a letter mocking the living God of Israel and threatening to destroy the city of Jerusalem. The prayer is a cry for help in a difficult and dangerous time – and I suppose that is the reason why this little sentence from it has been chosen as a watchword for us in the month of August. We live in difficult and dangerous times too – perhaps we don’t have to deal with threatening letters from foreign kings, but threats there are a plenty and troubles looming large on our horizons – things we are scared of, matters we have to deal with or without having the re-ources or the resilience to handle them properly.

In such a dire situation the prayer of Hezekiah could be a nudge for us in a helpful direction. It reminds us that we can talk to God about all of it and that we can ask God to hear: “Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear!”. Hear our fears, our worries, our concerns about the situation – listen with your caring, loving, merciful ear, O Lord, so that we can blurt it all out in front of you – all the niggling details that cause us to feel overwhelmed, tired, scared and wanting to give up hope.

And we can ask God to see: “Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!”. Of course God sees it all already, and hears everything – but we need the assurance that God will do it for us and that God will open the eyes and take a careful look at this world of ours – a care-filled look, a look that will graciously see how terrible life is for many, many people.

Friends, such a prayer might not already change our situation, it will not magically resolve our problems, but it will help us to find a fuller perspective, to look at the issues from the perspective of our loving God who knows, who hears and sees what is going on and, in time, will come through for us in ways we cannot yet fathom as God came through for Hezekiah – read it in Chapter 19 of the Second Book of Kings.

With this assurance holding me in God’s gracious care, I want to greet you and entrust you into that gracious care too. Be at peace, the Lord knows what you’re going through.

Felix Meylahn