sheepFor you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1Pe 2:25 NIV)
One soul after the other closes its ears to the voice of the hireling and listens more and more to that of the good shepherd. Who of us is still absent from the obedient herd, whose virtue consists in listening and obeying divine instructions? One after the other hears the call of the good shepherd: “I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (Joh 10:14 NIV) and answers with blessed confidence: “My friend is mine and I am his.” When will we have this confidence and good conscience to answer Jesus’ words: “My sheep know me” with blissful joy of the loving bride?
The Church is becoming more and more complete. The number of elect is being fulfilled and is about to be complete. The predestined flock is gathering in fullness around the throne of the lamb. How long will it still take until that crowd that St. John saw standing in awesome wonder will be as God has ordained? Are we going to be part of that or are we going to be missing? Are we going to belong to the enemy, who has been overcome by Christ – and excluded from the heavenly throng never to see the face of Jesus Christ, the good shepherd in eternity although he died for us also? That is a fear that gives way to peace, confidence, joy and bliss only by the grace of the good shepherd himself.
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, merciful saviour, who has said: “You did not choose me, but I chose you!”, convert us, then we are converted. Heal us, then we are healed. Help, then we are indeed helped. Amen.
We did not elect you, but you counted us as your own according to your holy and gracious will. Our strength is weak and failing and nobody is able to do the work if not empowered by you o Lord. Therefore break our futile will and grant insight that poverty is heavenly gain. Whoever despairs in himself puts his trust in you and thus bears your shame in glory. (Albert Knapp, 1798-1864)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the second Sunday after Easter: Misericordias Domini. It is found on Pg. 179 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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