If a person esteems his calling to suffering highly and if that resultant joy dominates his heart, then he is gifted with strength to face the dread and fear exerted by his enemies with some lighthearted disengagement too. The threats of his enemies don’t raise his ire anymore, but rather he’s at peace to listen to the baseless raving. They leave him unmoved as the cliffs are by the ferocious sea. Christians don’t flee the torment, but rather face it head-on. Christ the Lord keeps them amidst all conflict and strive – granting them peace that passes all understanding. Jesus Christ is far superior and more powerful and mighty than any enemy or worldly power. He is the holy one of God, who has all authority in heaven and on earth. The most brutal and violent foes can’t do much against him. They are rather like harmless waves against a firm and confident bastion. This is true evens during harshest battle and in most terrifying times. For when the world throws a tantrum and makes the biggest noise, its just like swirling dust – not very effective, but quite intimidating as it tries to block out the comforting goodness and grace of our Lord and savior. We are in danger of losing sight of the eternal foundation and heavenly haven as the temporal darkness threatens to take hold of our world. That’s when we should flee to God and put our hope entirely onto him. He will come to save us!
Oh, dear and most loving Father! You see how the world despises your wisdom and holiness. In your goodness you provided the world with all its power and might divine in abundance so that it would serve you faithfully at all times and in all places. However it would rather pit this against you and your kingdom. They are great, mighty and plenty. They pester, hinder, attack and attempt to destroy the little herd of your Church and would not bear its presence here on earth. Lord, please, grant conversion to them and protection to your people. Convert those, who still are to become your children and heirs of heaven, so that they would serve you in true faith and upright love. Resist all those, who would not desist from opposing your Church and kingdom. Throw them down from their lofty throne and destroy their evil plans and strategies. Amen.
Faithful watch o’er Israel – my soul rejoices in you. You know all sorrow of your dear Church. O watchman, you don’t sleep nor do you slumber. Keep your watch carefully over us!
We cry meek and poor, knocking at your grace’s door. We’re yours, bought at highest price. Turn away your father’s wrath that as a fiery furnace burns the world to ash. (Johann Heermann, 1585-1647)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Saturday after the fifth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 256 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.