Our Lord and God lets his light shine again and again. Every dark valley has a sunny exit. Just when we thought that we would succumb in distress and singular trouble, our eternal and faithful savior was there also. He let us know, that he and his delightful heavens might have been hidden from sight, but that he holds his celestial exultations and pleasures in store for us, so that our joy would eventually be perfect. Thus the joy in the Lord triumphs. Our salvation overcomes all suffering. This will become abundantly clear once this world passes away and the heavens open up visibly. There the enjoyment of the Lord will abound and never end.
Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with thy whole church. Abide with us in the end of the day, in the end of this year, in the end of our life, in the end of the world. Abide with us with thy grace and bounty, with thy holy Word and sacrament, with thy comfort and thy blessing. Abide with us when over us cometh the night of affliction and temptation, the night of fear and despair, the night of bitter death. Abide with us and with all thy faithful, through time and eternity. Amen. (Wilhelm Löhe)
1 In Thee is gladness Amid all sadness, Jesus, sunshine of my heart. By Thee are given The gifts of heaven, Thou the true Redeemer art. Our souls Thou wakest, Our bonds Thou breakest; Who trusts Thee surely Has built securely; He stands forever: Allelujah! Our hearts are pining To see Thy shining, Dying or living To Thee are cleaving; Naught can us sever: Allelujah!
2 If He is ours, We fear no powers, Not of earth nor sin nor death. He sees and blesses In worst distresses; He can change them with a breath. Wherefore the story Tell of His glory With hearts and voices; All heav’n rejoices In Him for ever: Allelujah! We shout for gladness, Triumph o’er sadness, Love Him and praise Him And still shall raise Him Glad hymns forever: Allelujah! (Johann Lindemann, 1550-1634)
This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for the 30th December during the high holiday of Christmas. It is found on Pg. 40 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.