We are all children of our time if we want to be or not. Each and every era is most accessible and comprehensible to its own generation. Therefore whoever wants to proclaim the eternal and unchangeable gospel to these changing people, must take this varying experience into account. Every time, age and generation has the right, but also the obligation to speak, sing and pray as it is able and as it suits the gospel best. Every age and generation must give witness about God’s great gift in Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit has taught his Church through Word and sacraments so that its witness will be comprehensive, authentic and add to the wealth and treasure of God’s proclamation to this world. God is very much alive and speaks to his people even today. It might be that the calamities and troubles of this word silence many a voice and bring to a standstill many a writing hand, yet the witness of Jesus Christ does not rest yet. This witness is more important and crucial than any other. These witnesses in bad times are to acknowledge and spread the truth that God is alive and that his grace is with us in Jesus Christ – even if we don’t realize it due to our deserved punishment and castigation.
Lord God, heavenly Father, you have sent your servants, messengers and missionaries into this world that they may proclaim your holy word and the glory of your Son as salvation and life for all people. We ask you, grant faithful teachers with holy dedication and zeal, that they would preach and teach all that you would want them to and nothing besides that for the salvation of souls. We ask this in Jesus’ name, who is the light and the life, the truth and eternal peace. Amen. (Hermann Bezzel)
From east to west, from shore to shore, Let every heart awake and sing The holy Child Whom Mary bore, The Christ, the everlasting King. Behold, the world’s Creator wears The form and fashion of a slave; Our very flesh our Maker shares, His fallen creature, man, to save. For this how wondrously He wrought! A maiden, in her lowly place, Became, in ways beyond all thought, The chosen vessel of His grace. She bowed her to the angel’s word Declaring what the Father willed, And suddenly the promised Lord That pure and hallowed temple filled. He shrank not from the oxen’s stall, He lay within the manger bed, And He whose bounty feedeth all At Mary’s breast Himself was fed. And while the angels in the sky Sang praise above the silent field, To shepherds poor the Lord Most High, The one great Shepherd, was revealed. All glory for this blessèd morn To God the Father ever be; All praise to Thee, O virgin born, All praise, O Holy Ghost, to Thee.
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the 29th December during the high holiday of Christmas. It is found on Pg. 39 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.