This sinful body and its nature and being are alive and active as long as we’re still living on this earth. Yet, we are under no obligation towards it anymore. We have been freed from its tyranny and sinful reign. It’s temptations and invitations are more or less pressing on us and our ways as if we owe it our attention, service and allegiance even. Too many advocate the cravings and inclinations of our body and mind as if they have their own right and a ruling status. They seem to believe that if we don’t obey our sinful nature, then we are going to loose out or at least miss our highest calling. Nothing could be further from the truth! God’s holy word reveals to us, that we owe our sinful nature nothing. We are debtors of the Holy Spirit, yes! He grants us his gifts and treasures. He gives us his most holy fruits. He calls, pulls and motivates us. Faithfully he presents us with most precious offerings and gifts. That is why we should be grateful to him and we owe him our allegiance and most faithful and dedicated service. Dear brothers and sisters: You are God’s children. Since your holy Baptism you have been gifted with the Holy Spirit. Even if you have resisted his most loving influence and persuasion up to now, you should rather give in to him without further delay. Follow his holy calling willingly and live according to his most holy will and determination. It is for your best!
Almighty and most merciful Father! We laud and magnify your holy name, that you have made yourself our Father. Create in us – your holy children – a pure heart so that we would abide faithfully in you and your ways o Lord. Let us live according to your will and commandments, so that the world may see your grace, that we have received. Let our ways reflect your goodness, that they may thank and praise you too. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Jesus, Thy boundless love to me No thought can reach, no tongue declare; Unite my thankful heart with Thee And reign without a rival there. To Thee alone, dear Lord, I live; Myself to Thee, dear Lord, I give.
O, grant that nothing in my soul May dwell but Thy pure love alone! Oh, may Thy love possess me whole, My joy, my treasure, and my crown! All coldness from my heart remove; My every act, word, thought, be love.
This love unwearied I pursue And dauntlessly to Thee aspire. Oh, may Thy love my hope renew Burn in my soul like heavenly fire! And day and night be all my care To guard this sacred treasure there.
In suffering be Thy love my peace, In weakness be Thy love my power; And when the storms of life shall cease, Jesus, in that important hour, In death as life be Thou my guide, And save me, who for me hast died. (Paul Gerhard 1607-1667 tr John B Wesley, 1703-1791)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the eighth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 271 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.