Herrenhuter readings for Thursday, the 1st January 2015

zion-2013-sunset-shadowsThese forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. (5.Mose – Deuteronomy – 2,7) Be ye thankful. (Colossians 3:15)

What a lovely day this first day of 2015! After the raucous night all is calmed down and restful. What a good year 2014 was – and all those years before. In the bible verse for this morning from Dt.2,7 Moses points God’s people to the past years transversing the desert and highlights the fact, that they have lacked nothing. Isn’t that amazing? We’re living in the most beautiful part of the world, with the best climate of all and the most friendly and fascinating people-mix with plenty to do and lots to keep us well occupied – no enemies, no desert stretches, no scorpions or snakes to talk of. How much more than Moses and the Israelites, should we not repeat it every day: God has been with us. We have lacked nothing! And not just forty, but already fifty and more years. Oh – God is good and just so amazing. He achieves great things, while we are sleeping and saves us, whilst we are in despair.

God has given us so much reason to be thankful. He has already brought us to the promised land, where he leads us as the Good Shepherd on green pastures and to quite waters by. He has filled our cup to more than overflowing with goodness, mercy, peace and favour. He has laid out our table with good things – bread of life and the cup of salvation + He speaks friendly with Jerusalem, with Wittenberg and Pretoria + anoints our head with oil, baptismal waters, regenerative and invigorating powers of his Holy Spirit – even in the sight of those, who would put us down and see us put out. But God is with us – Immanuel – Jesus Christ has become our brother and we’re never alone. Rather full of understanding and compassion, gracious and so kindly he comforts, strengthens and accompanies us, so that we need not fear. Rather we can be confident and at peace, for he takes good care of us – every day of our lives – speaking to us words of love, hope and loads of peace. That’s why by his grace and mercy we’ll stay in his godly presence now and always, confessing with Luther’s translation of the Psalmist: If I have but you, I ask not for heaven or earth! (Psalm 73:25)

This trust and confidence in the one, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, the one, who has taken good care of his people even when transversing the inhospitable desert for the best part of their lives so that they were compelled to confess: We lacked nothing at all! lets us look forward with confidence, yes, even with great expectations and joy, for if the Lord is with us, who and what could be against us? What or who could harm us? The Lord is with us and lets all and everything serve us to the very best and most beneficial. Those are really quite exiting prospects. The Lord is with us and will never let us fall out of his hands. He is greater and better and more friendly than anything or anyone. Nothing can severe us from him. That’s our ticket to ride and be grateful. We’re blessed without end – now and forever – because he has forgiven us our iniquities, healed our diseases and has brought us into his most delightful and gracious presence, that we can lift up our heads and be glad, rejoicing and praising our Lord, who is good without end.

1 God loves me dearly,
Grants me salvation,
God loves me dearly,
Loves even me.

Refrain:
Therefore I’ll say again:
God loves me dearly,
God loves me dearly,
Loves even me.

2 I was in slav’ry,
Sin, death, and darkness;
God’s love was working
To make me free. [Refrain]

3 He sent forth Jesus,
My dear Redeemer,
He sent forth Jesus
And set me free. [Refrain]

4 Jesus, my Savior,
Himself did offer;
Jesus, my Savior,
Paid all I owed. [Refrain]

5 Now I will praise You,
O love Eternal;
Now I will praise You
All my life long. [Refrain]

Nicolaus Herman c. 1480-1561 tr F. Samuel Janzow 1913-2001 and August Crull 1845-1923

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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