The apostle Saint James calls the tongue a fire and a world of evil (James 3:6). In the same vein you could call it a world of rubbish and dirt. Just listen to the youth on the playground or grown-ups socializing. There’s a lot of obscenity, foolish talk and coarse joking going on even if that is clearly in contradiction to the apostolic admonition to the Ephesians. It doesn’t go with a Christian way of life. The danger is that this coarse vocabulary and style is just the tip of the ice-berg and only a reflection of the inner life of corrupt, evil and sick heart. That’s what needs repentance, conversion and healing. Christ himself is the blessed tutor, who instructs, guides and demonstrates positive communication of wholesome blessings and sharing life-giving words which comfort, uplift, edify and sustain instead of cursing, degrading, hurting, breaking down, insulting and shaming – killing if they could. The old Adam tries to pull us down into the mire, whereas the Holy Spirit does his tireless work of sanctification in us to continually promote Christ and his life style in us so that we don’t tire to strive to live pleasing to God and as a blessing to our fellow beings.
Lord, our God! You are holy and nothing unclean can exist in your presence. Help, that we, who tend to unholiness and uncleanliness would give up all that does not meet your approval. Protect us especially to fall into the sins of our tongue, so that we do not bring disrepute and calamity over us and our fellow beings. Sanctify us through and through, so that body, soul and spirit may be kept blameless until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Protect us in this night also from every evil thought and dream. Let us find rest in you o Lord and awaken us to sing your praises. Amen.
In life and pastime, in peace and war, at home or work, at all times let us remain honest, disciplined, hard-working and faithful to honour you and benefit our neighbour.
Lord God, you gladly and graciously forgive sinners. You happily welcome your fallen children home. Even in punishment you think of forgiveness and healing. We fall down before you and worship you as our God and Savior. Amen, Amen. (Max von Schenkendorf, 1783-1817 )
This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after Sunday Oculi (3rd Sunday in Lent). The hymn by von Schenkendorf was translated rather literally and not poetically. Both are found on Pg. 134 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu! (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.