There’s hot warfare go on between the world and the Church. That ongoing conflict between unbelief and true faith drives world history. It’s a battle of death and life. Yet God’s children stand in more than this relation to the world, because they have each other and also stand in the Church of the Lord. There too are battles to be fought. Here too there are various factions and directions in opposition to each other and in conflict with one another. There are denominations, sectarian parties and even heretical enemies. How is this to be understood? Mainly because not everyone is subject to God’s word and will in all aspects, but rather prefers individual or partisan ideologies and philosophies that the revealed truth. That’s why you get differences – serious alterations and even lasting separations and different denominations and churches. These can’t just be brushed aside or nullified. It’s not that easy. Yet they should not be rated higher and more important than God himself rates these deviations, misinterpretations and plain errors and godless heresies. Although most ideas profess to seek and promote more peace and greater unity, they most often do the exact opposite. That seems to contradict all that was said in praise of Christian love and unity. Yet sadly this is no lie or exaggeration or distortion of the truth. It’s true and has proven itself a thousand times in history. It will even stay that way until the very end. The portals of the Church are decorated with the signs of most perfect and greatest love of all – the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his live for the whole world and all us and our salvation +
O almighty, eternal God, King of glory and Lord of heaven and earth. Your Spirit rules in all things and you have ordered and regulate everything. You are the God of peace and you desire unity of all and peace for everyone. We pray, forgive us our sin and grace us with your godly peace and holy unity, so that we would serve you with fear and trembling, praising your name forever through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
At the Lamb’s high feast we sing Praise to our victorious king, Who has washed us in the tide Flowing from his pierced side. Alleluia!
Praise we him, whose love divine Gives his sacred blood for wine, Gives his body for the feast Christ the victim, Christ the priest. Alleluia!
Where the paschal blood is poured, Death’s dread angel sheathes the sword; Israel’s hosts triumphant go Through the wave that drowns the foe. Alleluia!
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed, Paschal victim, paschal bread; With sincerity and love Eat we manna from above. Alleluia!
Mighty Victim from the sky, Hell’s fierce powers beneath you lie; You have conquered in the fight You have brought us life and light. Alleluia!
Now no more can death appall, Now no more the grave enthrall; You have opened paradise, And your saints in you shall rise. Alleluia!
Easter triumph, Easter joy! This alone can sin destroy; From sin’s power, Lord, set us free, Newborn souls in you to be. Alleluia!
Father, who the crown shall give, Savior, by whose death we live, Spirit, guide through all our days; Three in One, Your name we praise. Alleluia! (Bohemian Brethren)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after the second Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 232 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.