LÖHE ON 1. THESSALONIANS 4:3

Jesus eucharistIt is God’s will that you should be sanctified! (1Th 4:3 NIV)

The light of sanctification illuminates the extent of ones impurity. The most admirable virgin and beauty queen is still sullied and ruined if she’s ignorant of original sin and her own sinful state as a result of this. The handsome lad is but worm-eaten and maggoty if he doesn’t give heed to the divine admonition of sanctification.

There is but one Father of all and in all of us lives the old Adam and even we, who bear the new Adam since holy Baptism, are still descendants of that ancient one. God did not call saints and holy people to sanctification. He has always called sinners to repentance and sanctification. Whoever hears this call to sanctification, is called to migrate and move along in faith – out of his/her comfort zone and beyond old, traditional borders of our life from disbelief to trust, from sin to holiness, from lawlessness to a life under the guidance and kingship of our God. Who wants to move, if content and happy in ones location? Learn to be ashamed for this. You are no lily of innocence and you won’t be one either except if you blush like a rose as you recognize and confess your sinfulness. You are lost if you do not recognize that you are responsible to God and have to answer to him with regard to every single commandment and divine mandate and that only Jesus Christ can save you by the forgiveness of your sin. Ponder that! May God cleanse and heal you +

Holy God, you will be seen only by those with clean hearts, grant us your Holy Spirit, that he may cleanse our hearts from all sin, sanctify us through and through, create in us willing hearts and accomplishment too, strengthen us, prepare, empower and confirm us, that we may be found pure and without offense on that last day when your Son Jesus Christ will reappear in glory to judge the living and the dead. Amen. (Saxon Agenda 1906)

I can not enumerate all my sins. I even fail to accuse myself appropriately before you, o Lord. My loving, praying and confessing – indeed all my doing remains impure, impaired and corrupted. No work of mine is perfect or even just good enough to rest at peace and be content in it.

I rest in your beauty only, in your grace o Majesty. My eyes need to get used to your sight still, yet my spirit worships and adores you, o my God. That is enough, I am, what I am supposed to be in your sight, sanctified by your forgiving grace. Perfectly holy is the order of pure bliss in Jesus Christ + (Wilhelm Löhe, 1808-1872)

This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the Sunday Reminiscere (Second Sunday in Lent) and of his  hymn, which was translated literally, but not poetically. Both are found on Pg. 124 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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