Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ferenc Visky: Reflections on Psalms 115 and Psalm 90

Because the interview with Ferenc Visky had been rescheduled, the team spent a few days in Hungary and Slovakia and then returned to the Visky home in Oradia/Nagyvarad, for our meeting. Watching him speak throughout the interview made me wish that I could have been present for one of his sermons. Rev. Visky must have been an expressive preacher because he was always in motion; his gestures and facial expressions revealed how involved he was in the Word and with the words he was speaking.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us
But to your name be the glory,
Because of your love and faithfulness
Psalm 115:1 (NIV)

Ferenc and Julia Visky ~June 2003
When we became engaged to marry, the psalms showed up in an interesting way. The once-engaged person is sitting here with me now. Fifty-six years ago we were looking for the confirmation that we belonged together and that we had tasks to do together. We remembered words from Psalm 115.  At that time we had decided to turn toward Romania, and we knew that our field of service would not be in Hungary but in Romania where my father used to be a pastor. It was very good to be in harmony in this and to know that the true meaning of our service would happen under this quote, “Not for us O Lord, but for your name. Soli Deo Gloria. And we wished and we do wish that this will stay with us always.

Teach us to number our days aright
so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

Maybe I will not tell the stories chronologically - so I am jumping in time now. I would like to tell you about the marriage of my grandchild. He is a pastor, by the way. At his wedding we received a message from Psalm 90, the well-known verse, “Teach us to count our days that we can get a wise heart.” 

According to the text here, we can say that it’s well-known, but I think a verse has to give a new meaning each time it’s read. We usually say that, well, it’s a familiar and well-known verse so I do understand the message. But I think we can’t say this. I won’t tell you the whole preaching here, just some parts of it. First of all, the first words say ‘Teach us.’ It means that I have a need of teaching because I don’t know, because I am standing in front of things that I don’t understand. I don’t know how to be a husband, how to be a wife, how to be a pastor, how to preach, how to be a grandfather.

There were some church leaders present at that wedding, so I preached to professors and to lay leaders of the church district too, the curators. But it was their misfortune that they were present. I preached that I really don’t know how one can be a curator, a professor, or a bishop, and it’s high time to study how to do these things; a whole lifetime is necessary to learn these things. This message alluded to my family’s history.

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