That is the general tenor of this epistle. All sadness in the lives of the saved elect is to be transformed into joy, all rough edges smoothed out, all troubles feed into prayer, tumult and conflict passes over into the peace that this world does not know and can not receive. The Lord is near. He is near in his word, in death and in judgement. The Lord is near in every aspect. This can open up your ear for the apostolic admonition. Consider word, death and judgement together and this word will become even more powerful.
In just a short while there will be no tears welling up anymore, nor sighs and laments rising from our hearts. Sadness is gone and faithful joy remains. It will be even more and better than the returning Jacob confesses to his challenging brother Esau: I have enough of all. Rejoice in your eternal inheritance and be faithful in everything and against all. Sorrow and worry are to pass away. Peace will no longer be interrupted by battle cries or harrowing afflictions. Just restful Hallelujahs will remain and we will praise our Lord God in joyous peace and harmony. Just wait and see. In a short while this world will pass away and the new one will persist. Amen.
Oh Lord Jesus Christ – you are so welcome! You have entered our lives with grace, peace and mercy and have brought along everlasting salvation to us. O come again and take us home. Enter our hearts together with your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Grace and prayer. We are pleading you to come soon. We rejoice in your promise, that you are coming soon. Yes, come Lord Jesus, come soon. Amen. (G.Arnold)
Oh, come, O Key of David, come, And open wide our heav’nly home; Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
Oh, come, our Dayspring from on high, And cheer us by your drawing nigh, Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, And death’s dark shadows put to flight. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel! (Latin translated by John M. Neale, 1851)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the fourth Sunday in Advent. It is found on Pg. 28 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.