For in him you have been enriched in every way– with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge– (1Co 1:5 NIV)
Here we witness the spiritual prosperity of this Corinthian congregation and church with which the almighty Lord wanted to surpass the glory and opulence of that famous trading metropolis in the Mediterranean. More than anything else the Corinthians received God’s holy word and with that the doctrine and teaching concerning all vital aspects of the eternal and temporal life. This word granted insight and wisdom and truth. It did not just pass over them like some noise passing while asleep during Church or following some other ideas while switching off during the worship service. No – this word reached the hearts of the hearers. It brought light and insight to their hearts. The divine wisdom brought along Christian wisdom, so that there was ample light, advice and judgment concerning all things in that congregation and church. The Corinthians were not so poor with regards to the Word of God as many of our congregations are today. The devil did not succeed in robbing the good seed of the Word planted with godly sermons, rather the Corinthians were enlightened and filled with the Holy Spirit. That is why the Apostle St. Paul is thanking and praising God. For us on the contrary many find the word of God burdensome and a bit of a plague. Sermons and Christian teachings are endured as tiresome and somewhat of a bother too. On the other hand a lot of idle, vain and worldly chatter and banter are viewed as entertaining and so delightful. The divine Word however is experienced as joyless and cheap. What do we give for the revelation and insight into the divine matters? It’s regarded as useless and even as a handicap for a prosperous and flourishing life in this world. Let us therefore learn from the holy apostle what is truly a more precious treasure than all gold and silver of this world – the Word and knowledge of the Lord, our God.
Almighty, eternal God and Father! You have blessed us so richly and handsomely with all sorts of wholesome and goodly gifts of salvation and eternal life. We plead your gracious goodness and mercy, awake in us gratitude and joy over your fatherly love and preserve for us the truthful use of your holy Word so that it may keep and nurture us in this life in true faith until the coming of your dear Son in glory. Amen.
God’s Word is our great heritage And shall be ours forever; To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavor. Through life it guides our way, In death it is our stay. Lord, grant, while worlds endure, We keep its teachings pure. Throughout all generations. (Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872 tr Ole G. Belsheim, 1861-1925)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday after the eighteenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 343 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.