LÖHE ON JAMES 1:22

word of GodDo not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (Jam 1:22 NIV)

Is it possible to be a hearer of the word, but not do what it says? Does not the light and power enter the ears and into the heart? And is it possible that you are motivated and driven by the word to act accordingly and you still don’t do it? The ears, heart, hand and feet are members of one body and the same person. The entire human being is not such a undefined entity that the word of the almighty God would not saturate him completely like potent yeast a mass of dough.  There is a pond. Throw a stone into it. You’ll see waves rippling throughout the surface. There is a church. Speak a word and its sound carries throughout the sanctuary. And the word of God should not master the entire human person?

It is a wondrous mystery that the almighty Lord has limited the effect of his word. It is his mysterious will that his word can overcame all and everything, but will not force human opposition into servile submission. Just as the human will can not do anything for its salvation, it can do a whole lot for its damnation. It will have to stop to promote its damnation by opposing the word. It must hear the word as the vital instrument for its salvation. It must hear, listen and obey it. That is crucial. God’s word will overcome the opposition. He will awaken interest and even knowledge and insight. And still it remains a divine mystery of God’s grace and goodness that somebody is converted by the word and brought to saving faith – no longer opposed, but attached and obedient to the gracious gospel.

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! We praise you for the richness of your gifts and goodness, especially the gracious gift of our salvation given to us through your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us here and in all places faithful teachers, willing hearers and obedient doers of your word. Let its light shine in all hearts that commit themselves into your hands, into your grace and care as the night is falling. Let your word remain with us until the new day appears and let it accompany us all the way to where your dear Son will be our light and salvation in eternity. Amen. (Hermann Bezzel)

Stay with us, till night has come: Our praise to You this day be sung. Bless our bread, Open our eyes: Jesus, be our great surprise.

Walk with us, our spirits sigh: Hear when our weary spirits cry, Feel again Our loss, our pain: Jesus, take us to Your side.

Walk with us, the road will bend: Make all our weeping, wailing end. Wipe our trars, Forgive our fears: Jesus, lift the heavy cross.

Talk with us, till we behold A joyful life You will unfold: Heal our eyes To see the prize: Jesus, take us to the light.

Stay with us, till day is done: No tears nor dark shall dim the sun. Cheer the heart, Your grace impart: Jesus, bring eternal life. (Herbert F. Borkering *1926)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the fifth Sunday after Easter: Rogate. It is found on Pg. 194 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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