LÖHE ON ACTS 20:35

Good works‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Act 20:35 NIV)

This time of lent is one of giving, of mercy, of offerings and sacrifices. In this time we are called in particular to share our property with those in need. If one is without property, then the chance is given to provide services and works of mercy and prayer instead. Works of mercy done out of love for Jesus Christ, the merciful savior, who in his suffering showed the greatest compassion and mercy, is the special occasion of lent. Where is there something more beautiful to be found in all the world than a person, who out of love for Christ, the savior of the world, uses this time of lent to renounce this or waive that to give it away to those, who need it even more. Yet although we know that our Lord and savior recommends and lauds this, we still hold back here and there. It is praised and magnified, yet following this example is very easily considered enthusiastic extravagance. Missing out on the most lovely way of compassion in this way would be reason enough that we should cover our faces in shame. We are just to shy to miss out on this and to hesitant to give up on that – even if it were for the time being. May God grant improvement and give us at least small beginnings in this attitude and life style, that Christ exemplified and the Church extols so that we will live out this Lenten tide ever more appropriately!

We plead you, o Lord God, who knows and loves the lowliest of our kind: Help us to a fitting communion with those, whom you have assigned as our siblings and family members in the faith, but also in humanity. Let us help, serve and assist each other willingly and unite us in Jesus Christ, with the love that is the bond of perfection. Amen. (Arper-Zillessen)

Souls: Let us do good and never tire. When the time comes, we will rest from all burdens, but not only rest, but harvest too.

Oh that we would learn in this time for eternity. Whoever sows sparingly here, will harvest little there too. Yet those doing lots of good will reap rich rewards there too.

Teach me o God to do good and never sag in faithfulness. The time for this is now and its fleeing rapidly. Do good – even if just a little bit, it’s still good!

Grant that the harvest be in my mind and that I will sow in hope and faith. What we do – we do it for you, o Lord – otherwise its in vain. Even if the reward would be outstanding, the grace is abounding still. (Philipp Friedrich Hiller + 1699-1769)  

This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after Laetare (4th Sunday in Lent). The prayer was translated rather literally and not poetically. Both are found on Pg. 142 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.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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