LÖHE ON 1.CORINTHIANS 13:8

Corpus ChristiLove never ends. (1Co 13:8 ESV) Obviously! How could it be different? What more should come of love? What higher status could it attain? No, there is nothing higher or more beautiful than love. Love never ends, doesn’t give way for something better, doesn’t change, mutate or develop into something more. It’s more like heaven on earth already. However in eternity it will no longer be stained by sin, all handicaps and shortcomings due to this iniquity that we struggle with here, will be overcome there just as all obstacles, impediments or complications due to the evil lustre and inclination will at last fall away and be no more. Love at last will be perfectly pure just as God intended it to be. Then all partial knowledge will be complete, all prophesy will end as they will be fulfilled and even the different languages will cease as we praise our God in one voice and tongue. Love however will outlive all of these drastic and radical changes. It will move with us into eternity – fulfilled, perfected and finally absolutely pure. Love will continue to love, whom and what it has loved before. It does not shift the focus of its alliance, bond and blissful union. It is faithful and on entry into Paradise and on perceiving the Lord in all his glory will not forget its previous associations, but just as the Lord does not forget those that are his, love too will remember these. In all the light and glorious divinity the love for our brothers and sisters will continue in unchanging patience and mercy as before. In God our Lord love recognizes and experiences all the glory of paternal love. In the transfigured Saviour it recognizes the eternal King of Kings and most holy High Priest in whose optimal rule and sacrificial priesthood in heaven and on earth the entire magnitude and excelling realization of holy love for those that are his is shared in unison and thus all is joined with and in him to the perfection of all love, that begins and ends in him. He being all in all – the very essence and being of love.

Lord, our God! All love that has started to flourish in our hearts here on earth is so limited. Sometimes the love in us has grown weak, lame and even died.  Your love alone is that great stream that never ceases nor dries up. We thank you, that you have visited your Church in great mercy and that your holy word continues to prove itself mightily in many a heart and soul all over the world and through the ages. We praise you for all the patience, forbearance and faithfulness, which you show towards your people even though millions don’t thank you for it. Let your efforts with us not be in vain, but rather let them boost love amongst us and between those, whom you have joined in families, friendships, societies and nations – especially to the poor and miserable, the needy, outcast and lost and those, who despise, hate and persecute you and your Church. O help us to be faithful and dedicated o Lord and let us practice your love without tiring. Amen. (P. Wurster)

Translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after the Sunday Estomihi (Last Sunday before Lent) as found on Pg. 113 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and puplished in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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