Herrenhuter readings for Saturday, the 22nd November 2014

duccio_di_buoninsegna_-_healing_of_the_blind_man_-_wga06779“Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me” (Psalm 28:1 KJV) and the blind men cried out, saying: “Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.” (Matthew 20:30-31 KJV)

We have the sure and sound promise that the Lord will hear our cry. He will answer us and we shall praise him. That is why the faithful of all times have not tired in crying to the Lord for help and mercy. They know, that he hears their sighs and lamentations. They know, he will answer them in his good time. That is why they wait for the Lord even more than the watchmen wait for the morning. For often in our estimation, the Lord hesitates and lingers far too long. It seems as if the Lord has given up his favourite task and mission i.e. to help and save those in distress and dire need to life and salvation. That is why, we hear so frequently: “How long oh Lord!”

This waiting is prolonged and even aggravated, because we don’t just have to cope with our own impatience and hastiness, but also with that of our fellows and friends. Probably worst of all for the faithful, is the premature exultation of our enemies and faithless foes, who poke fun at us for trusting and waiting for God’s intervention. In the bible we read about Job’s wife, who encourages him foolishly to give up on God and get done with. We are reminded of Goliath, who in his beastly vitality ridiculed the living God and tormented the faithful like David. Even the apostles rebuke those dear mothers with their infants and babies, that they should not to come to Jesus and bring their cares before him. Here with the blind men it is some unknown people, who are obstacles and stumbling stones for them in their rather pathetic approach to Jesus. The blind men however are not deterred nor discouraged by this opposition. They cling firmly to their only hope. That’s why they cry even louder and harder in their otherwise lost cause: “Kyrie eleison + Christe eleison + Kyrie eleison”.

It’s the cry of the militant Church. It’s the cry of the suffering saints throughout the ages. It’s our own cry, when we don’t find anymore words for help, comfort, deliverance and healing in our trouble, worries and cares.  It resounds daily throughout the world and especially on Sundays, when the holy Christian Church gathers in God’s sanctuary to receive his gracious gifts and mercies, but also to call upon him in faith, love and hope.

Thank the triune God, who has heard our prayer and answered our call. He is the one, who forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. Therefore we join the Church in singing his praises: “Hallelujah – soli Deo gloria +” He gave sight to those blind men, he healed the lame, he preached the gospel to the poor and delivered us from sin, death and devil.

We pray: Lord heavenly Father, we thank you for your promise that you hear our prayer. We are grateful that you gave sight to the blind and we pray that you would give us eyes to see your miracles and wonders without fail and doubt. We thank and praise you for hearing the prayers of your Church throughout the ages and that you have done so day in day out – even in these our own times. You have kept us even to this delightful day in your love, peace and mercy. We are grateful for your gracious response to our need, that you don’t deal with us as harshly as we have rightly deserved, but rather according to the richness of your grace and mercy. We therefore are confident to ask you even more, please forgive us our sinful impatience as we wait for the glorious fulfilment of all your wonderful promises in Jesus Christ our Lord at his glorious return to judge the living and the dead. Forgive us our tardiness and poverty in prayer and grant that we be more watchful and obedient to call upon you for the needs of the Church, your people and of all people far and wide. Lord, we cry to you and plead in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and because of his command and promise: Have mercy on us + your Christian Church + now and in the hour of our death + Amen.

All glory be to God on high, And thanks for all His favour; No harm can touch or terrify A child of God forever. God shows his good will And grants His peace, the world to fill – All strife at last has ended.

We praise and laud and worship You; We give You thanks forever, O Father, for Your rule is true and just and changes never. With boundless pow’r , Your mighty reign Fulfills whatever You ordain. Lord grant us every blessing!

O Jesus Christ, the only Son Begotten of the Father, Your saving death has made us one With God and with each other. O Lamb of God, to You on high In our distress we sinners cry, Have mercy on us, amen!

O Holy Spirit, our delight And source of consolation, Protect us from the devil’s might Through Jesus, our salvation, Who by His death upon a tree Has rescued us from misery: To this we hold forever. Amen.

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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