The holy Apostle admonishes the Ephesians to follow the Lord’s will at all times doing what is appropriate and therefore follow his guidance in all things. The apostle knows how often it happens that you have a suitable occasion to do good, but how this is allowed to slip by without the correct response. Therefore it is part of true wisdom that we understand what the right thing is at the respective time. Let’s take note of the apostles doing. He has his eyes fixed firmly on the godly goal and his feet walking on the proper way too. In one hand you have the watch to take time and keep time too, while the other hand is ready to do what is fitting, good and salutary at any given moment on this way to the heavenly home – always keen to understand and practice whatever the Lord’s will is. This is in stark contrast to those people, who just move in self satisfied comfort zones. Even many Christians expect pleasure and satisfaction more than anything else from life – and do everything to attain that. They see religion as a way to achieve gratification and wellbeing. They don’t see life as the opportunity to focus on eternity and to use the time here on earth to understand what the Lord’s will is and to practice this continuously in good works of love and mercy. A life in watchfulness and being constantly alert to opportunities to do good and whatever is pleasing in the Lord’s eyes seems to them to be more of a burden, than a joyful, lovely and precious calling. Yet blessed are those, who are wise and seek always to do the will of the Lord in the time and space available to them. Amen.
Oh Lord, our God, grant to your holy Congregation that it will earnestly avoid all that is contrary to your sacred will, yet strive consistently and eagerly to do all that is pleasing in your sight until at last when she’s freed from hardship and strain, she will see you from face to face and thus rejoice in you eternally. Amen.
May God bestow on us His grace, With blessings rich provide us; And may the brightness of His face To life eternal guide us, That we His saving health may know, His gracious will and pleasure, And also to the heathen show Christ’s riches without measure And unto God convert them.
Thine over all shall be the praise And thanks of ev’ry nation; And all the world with joy shall raise The voice of exultation. For Thou shalt judge the earth, O Lord, Nor suffer sin to flourish; Thy people’s pasture is Thy Word Their souls to feed and nourish, In rightous paths to keep them.
O let the people praise Thy worth, In all good works increasing; The land shall plenteous fruit bring forth, Thy Word is rich in blessing. May God the Father, God the Son, And God the Spirit bless us! Let all the world praise Him alone; Let solemn awe possess us. Now let our hearts say “Amen!” (Martin Luther 1483-1546 tr Richard Massie 1800-1887)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday after the twentieth Sunday after the high holiday and festival of the Holy Trinity. It is found on Pg. 357 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.