LÖHE ON 1. PETER 2:12

pilgrimsLive such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1Pe 2:12 NIV)

Every Christian is a Christian by the grace of God – whether he is a servant or free man, a lord or subject. Many different aspects are a given at birth. If anybody is brought to the saving faith by the grace of God, how should he then behave in these various given circumstances? They are part of this world. Should he ignore them? Should he just try to leave them behind and free himself of these natural givens? St. Peter gives clear instructions in this regard. They can be summarized in two words: subordination and obedience. These answers are quite surprising if you consider the first centuries. The other conclusion would have been less surprising: “Separate yourselves from this world”, but is not Christian and was not given by St. Peter either. Obviously the Christian is separated from this world. This however does not mean that he is separated from the tasks and duties in this world, rather he is separated only from the sinful aspects of this world. He becomes estranged to that only. He goes through this world as a foreigner. He is subject to the local laws as long as he travels through here and only insofar as they don’t conflict with the laws of his heavenly home and fatherland. That’s the difficult part of this sojourn. It’s a comfort to know that its temporally only, the goal is drawing nearer with every day and our Lord Jesus Christ is coming for sure to fetch and carry us home!

The pilgrim is homeward bound. There the stars are shining. There he will find peace.

The pilgrim is crossing over to the other side. The grave holds his loved ones – flowers growing over it.

The pilgrim has tasted eternity. He’ll be home, when the grave covers him up.

He’s homesick here. He’s striving for peace above. That’s where his longing goes. (Christian G. Barth 1799-1862)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after the third Sunday after Easter: Jubilate. It is found on Pg. 183 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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