Herrenhuter readings for Sunday, the 7th December 2014

zweiter-advent“Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7 NKJV) and St. Paul writes to St. Timothy: “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5 NKJV)

Blessed are those, who have parents and grandparents, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles and aunts, elders and teachers who can tell and show the younger generations of growing up boys and girls, what God has done, said and shared in Ages past. Blessed are those, who don’t have to find out all for themselves, but have to flounder in the dark trying to find the light, meandering aimlessly through life in the hope of striking in lucky one day, finding the deeper meaning of things and eventually even the highest good. It’s not just about good old values, home-made recipes for cooking and animal husbandry, working in the garden and in the ways of this world – but rather about the true faith and confession, which has been handed down through the venerable cloud of witnesses from the very beginning – sometimes fading into the shadows, but never breaking up – rather sharing that genuine faith in all the triune God has done in his wonderful works of creation, salvation and sanctification.

Blessed are those, who don’t only hear tidbits hear and there, but from a very tender young age hear about the miracles and wonders of our God – in the stories from the beginning starting off with Adam and Eve, Noah and his family, about the arch fathers and patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, Moses and Josua, Kaleb and many more. Hearing and learning about the mothers of faith starting of from Eve, Sara, Rebecca, Esther, Rahel and oh so many more. Who are taught the main articles of faith in a way that makes sense and sustains the faith. Knowing the will of God in the commandments, appreciating the gifts of God in all spheres of lives, creating, sustaining, saving, forgiving, healing and perfecting. Learning to pray, to sing, to worship, to relate to the living God through the Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs of the Church and never tiring of praying the Lord’s prayer itself. Living daily in the gracious gift of Holy Baptism, crawling back and being pulled back daily into these saving and cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit. Being sustained and motivated and kept in the true faith and in Jesus Christ through his very body and blood given to us in the Lord’s supper. Blessed are they, who are not left to their own devices and are left to believe that it all depends on their own doing to make a success in life – as if there is no God and as if it is not he, who controls and manages and determines all everywhere and every day and every night.

Let us older ones not forget to share this blessed knowledge of God’s most precious revelation in his Holy Word of the Old and New Testaments, the genuine faith and blessed confession of the Church with our children, sons and daughters, nephews and nieces, grandsons and granddaughters. Praying not only for faithful parents and godparents, but also for faithful teachers, pastors and elders, who will share this our divine calling and obligation with us and hand on the rule and deposit of faith faithfully, truthfully on to those, who will come after us and live the godly life in the years and ages to come – until he comes to fulfil all on the final day of judgement.

Let us also not forget those unreached people, who have nobody to tell them about the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the heavenly Father living and ruling over all together with the Holy Spirit – in the Arabic and muslim lands, in the pluralistic melting pot of all religions, ideologies and philosophies, which is the subcontinent India, nor the land of most people China and the land of the rising sun Japan. That is a huge missionary task for the Christian Church. Let us pray for dedicated and faithful missionaries to these countless people, who grow up and old without hearing about the triune God and all that he has done for us and our salvation. Let us support the work of the Christian and Church missions to these distant lands and people – and not neglect this high and precious calling to make disciples of all nations, teaching them all, that the Lord Jesus Christ has taught and entrusted to us. Let us pray for the distribution of good confessional literature and writings, Luther’s catechisms and true expositions of the genuine faith – hymnals and liturgies of the Church. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on all and everyone. Let us remember faithfully the countless orphans and children at war and in persecution, fleeing, migrating and trying to find a safe abode – in Africa, in the Ukraine, in Middle America and on the border of Mexico. The street kids, the homeless children, the victims of child trafficking, prostitution, drug abuse and slavery?  Who will teach them all that He has done for them in Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour? Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy + Come Lord Jesus and fulfil your promises and make an end to all the suffering and hardship, bringing your people home and saving all that are in calamity and distress. You are almighty and gracious and good. Help and save us and the countless lost people in your mercy +

Advent is about remembering, recalling the divine promises of old. A time to share the genuine faith in the coming Lord and of great expectations of his glorious return. That’s what we celebrated in this wonderful time of Advent – with our forebears and our descendants – and the entire Christian Church. We all pray: Come Lord Jesus, come soon! Maranatha! Amen.

We pray: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Hail! Hosanna! David’s Son! Jesus, hear our supplication! Let your kingdom, scepter, crown Bring us blessing and salvation That forever we may sing: Hail! Hosanna to our king!

Lutheran Hymnal 55,4 by Johann G. Olearius 1664

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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