LÖHE ON MATTHEWS 15:22

harvestA Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out behind him. (Mt 15:22 NIV)

This women is really well off. Yes, she was troubled by her daughters suffering, but the Holy Spirit helped her find Jesus and that was help indeed. She became a heroine. This gentile women carried away her victory over this harsh and depreciating comment of our Lord. She is a heroine of faith and she stands before us as an example of strength, triumph and crown of faith. She is a living example of what the apostle Paul teaches later on, namely that gentiles are co-heirs and living ligaments – members of the Lord’s body, the holy Christian Church.  This is comforting to us and we owe our Lord praise and thanks for this, because we too are from the gentiles and we experience the same as this heathen mother: We recognize that our Lord is the comfort and consolation and salvation of all gentiles and heathen people. His Holy Spirit teach us to pray to him and may he himself crown us with gracious hearing of our pleas.

O Lord, your Holy Spirit lead and guide us to you in all suffering and hardship, so that we do not seek help elsewhere and thus miss out on your eternal help and salvation. Grant us graciously to hear our prayer and the gratitude for your mercy. Let us not forget the misery of those, who do not know you and who still live in darkness and shadow of death. Awaken true and heartfelt love in us and amongst your people for active cooperation in the work of missions amongst heathen nations and let us witness the victory of your holy gospel in all the world. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory now and forever. Amen.

Oh would your gospel burn brightly and travel worldwide! Oh grant able hands to help with the harvest and willing labourers, who will faithfully go about the necessary work in your mission and calling. Oh Lord of the harvest have mercy – just see how big the work left to do and how small the number of servants.  

Your Son himself taught us this petition and laid it into our mouths. Behold how everywhere your children are calling in unison of heart, mind and soul for this work of your mission and the evangelization of your world. Therefore o Lord hear us and let it happen! (Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky, 1690-1774)

This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the Sunday Reminiscere (Second Sunday in Lent). The hymn by Paul Gerhard was translated rather literally, but not poetically. Both are found on Pg. 128 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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