We hear of a marvelous sympathy of creation with mankind and especially with God’s children. That is a surprising revelation and has taken many aback. Some smile derogatively if issues get addressed that surpass our understanding and go well beyond our heads, some just find it ridiculous. We agree with these words of St. Paul and join the praises of this partnership amongst creatures of God – nature and man, rational and irrational, logical and illogical. This joint partnership of creation with mankind is illustrated in a double fashion. Firstly it is described as a sharing of earthly suffering, which is followed up secondly with the shared participation of heavenly joys in that other world which is to come and which we are expecting with great longing. This special longing and profound desire seems to join us with all creatures and it bridges the present groaning with the happiness to come. Here everything is groaning – mankind and his entire kingdom and earthly reign – the natural expanse. Yet there all will be rejoicing together. Together with God’s people all of nature will enter the eternal bliss and glory to enjoy and flourish without end.
The day is passed, my mind and soul are longing to see that day, when we’ll be free of all distress.
The night has come. Stay with me o Jesus with your light diminish sin’s darkness in my heart.
The sun’s light we miss. O uncreated sun shine your bright light to grant joy and peace tonight.
All that moved, all that worked is resting now at last. Oh Lord, continue your work in me!
All want to enjoy some rest this night. Oh Jesus, let restlessness of day pass and grant your peace.
When will this rhythm of day and night stop? When will that day come that knows no night?
In that world moon and stars shine so much brighter than here, where Zion still mourns and groans.
Then we’ll never miss this sinking sun as the lamb will be the light that lightens all but never dims.
Hallelujah – oh would God I’d be there already to join the celestial choir: “Holy, holy, holy!”
O Jesus my help and my rest. Let me get there so that I may live forever in your gracious light.
(Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen, 1670-1739)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the fourth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 247 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.