My dear friend! Have you not committed a sin, that lies far back, however still burdens your conscience and is as new and quite unforgotten? You remember it as soon as the pastor mentions sin and even when your alone and nobody is preaching, it still surfaces and makes its presence felt. You can’t deny it, you must confess it even if your ashamed about it from the bottom of your heart.
Be honest and truthful! Don’t you have such sin lying hidden in your life and at the back of your mind? If you confess positively, then you have found the reason for this scriptural passage pointing out the acts that lead to death if they are not redeemed, wiped out and cleansed from our conscience. You know the filth in your soul and heart – and you have the deep desire to be rid of it for good. Yet, how does it come to that cleansing and purification that we’re in so great need of? You know the filth, you desire its cleansing and removal – yet you find it very hard to achieve that. If somebody could convince you that your sin is just an illusion, that the evil is not evil at all, just a passing calamity or slight illness, which will soon pass over and that you don’t need to bother yourself with it, its ok and not really serious at all – then you would be grateful to that person, wouldn’t you? Really very much – I am sure. Yet nobody can bring this evidence or convincing proof. Sin and evil is no illusion and not just a bad dream. No sin and evil have the power to lead to death – if they are not forgiven, cleansed and you healed by God’s grace +
Lord God, heavenly Father! Grant us your Holy Spirit, that we don’t hide our sin from you or ourselves, but rather confess it in ongoing repentance and contrition. More still grant us the comfort in the faith that the most holy and precious blood of your Son Jesus Christ cleanse us from all sin and that garbed in this most appropriate dress of righteousness we’ll be justified in your sight by your gracious forgiveness +
There is a sorrow in this life that’s global – heavy as the mountains and deep as the deepest sea. That’s the heartfelt sorrow over sin and evil in our life – sin that kills us if we’re not saved by Christ + There’s nothing that can heal this illness besides – no medication that will cure or even balm. No it’s sure death – if we’re not saved by Jesus Christ + To cure and heal this bitter sorrow of the heart and most inner being – Jesus Christ gave himself as savior of the world. His blood and righteousness is the true antidote against sin, devil and all evil – the balm to cure all hurt, sorrow and pain – yes, even overcomes death and the grave! (Emil Quandt: 1835-1911)
This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday after Judica (5th Sunday in Lent). The hymn is translated more literally than poetically. Both are found on Pg. 147 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.