Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (1Co 1:7 NIV)
Wherever God’s grace rules, where his Word sounds clearly, his light shines and enlightens and his divine conviction dwells in hearts, minds and lives of people – there you have all the conditions for a prosperous and flourishing life. Even if the holy Apostle does not at this place enumerate or mention the spiritual gifts in detail, he still shows us the way, how this wealth and richness can be achieved. We just need to find grace, word, enlightenment and confirmation. We may well ask if the blessed and well-off Corinthians did not have anything more to wish for. If these Christians are so blessed with spiritual gifts, do they still miss something or desire even more? Yes, there is still something outstanding and that is only to be had in the future. It is not there to grab and enjoy. Without doubt this future will bring to the children of God glory and gratification that will by far outstrip their keenest expectations: as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (1Co 1:7 NIV) The glorious, triumphant exultation of our Lord at the culmination of all history, time and space is the goal of all apostolic desire and hope. That is the Christian hope as such. This fulfillment is still outstanding. That’s why the Church is still waiting and she still endures tension. Without this the Church would probably slack down and become complacent and downright lazy. Spiritual wealth and richness without such vitalizing hope and focus can’t keep people quite happy on their own.
Lord and God, our merciful savior Jesus Christ: We are comforted in your blessed promise that you will come soon and bring us sojourners safely home. We are looking forward to seeing you. Bring us from fear to peace and from this ongoing struggle to experience your victory and triumph with you in eternity – for your eternal faithfulness sake. Amen. (Arper-Zillessen)
Oh, how blest are they whose toils are ended, Who through death have unto God ascended! They have arisen From the cares which keep us still in prison.
Come, 0 Christ, and loose the chains that bind us; Lead us forth and cast this world behind us. With You, th’Anointed, Finds the soul its joy and rest appointed. (LSB 679: Simon Dach, 1605-1659 tr Henry W. Longfellow, 1807-1892)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the eighteenth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 345 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.