The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. (Rom 13:12 NIV)
Whoever wears the amour of light, bears the weapons of God and carries his mighty sword of the holy Word of God too. Those waiting for the glorious return of their Lord and master Jesus Christ, are aware of the struggle facing them until then. They are alert and don’t trust any fake truce the devil might grant as he waits to deceive and catch us out. They expect his treachery at any time and place. They know they are not immune against his mean and aggressive onslaught as long as they live. Just as you deem to have scored a victory over this wily foe, he’ll attack all the more ferocious and malicious. The holy saints of God always face this precarious situation. That is why their status is so strenuous. Yet even in this most difficult position they are surrounded and kept by the peace of their Lord, that passes all understanding. Yes, his most precious comfort grants them true rest and safety even in the most hazardous conditions. They are satisfied by heavenly food. They are carried most caringly in the almighty hands of their Lord and saviour. Nothing can pull them asunder. That is why they would not swop their lot for anything in the world. Amen.
Almighty God and Lord! You have protected us with your coat of armour. You have shown us the way to heaven. Let us rest in peace this night and then go about our daily chores when the new day comes. Let us go about the works of our calling faithfully and diligently, patiently and lovingly, disciplined and with dedication. Grant us victory after victory against the vile and evil foe. Especially if we tire and grow weak, let your eternal light shine upon us and help us out to reach your heavenly courts, where no night will ever fall again. Amen. (Arper-Zillessen)
Rise! to arms! With prayer employ you! O Christians, lest the foe destroy you, For Satan has designed your fall. Wield God’s Word, a weapon glorious! Against each foe you’ll be victorious; Our God will set you over them all. Is Satan strong and fell? Here is Immanuel. Sing hosanna! The strong ones yield, With Christ our shield, and we as conquerors hold the field. (Wilhelm Erasmus Arends, 1677-1721 tr John M. Sloan 1876)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Thursday after the first Sunday in Advent. It is found on Pg. 11 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.