Herrenhuter readings for Tuesday, the 13th January 2015

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Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. (Jer 23:24 KJV)

Walk as children of light. (Eph 5:8 KJV)

If it wasn’t so fatal, it would be hilarious. Playing hiding-g0-seek with the Almighty, with him that fills heaven and earth. Yet even while its ludicrous as there are no secret places, no hidden corners, no sanctuary from our maker and sustainer, from our judge and king. You can run, but you can’t hide. There is nowhere, where you would not be seen by the omniscient and omnipresent God. Nobody can his judgement. Everybody has to face up to his ruling, when we are compelled to answer him, given an account of all we did and left undone, respond to his demands of living holy lives and being good stewards of the many and various gifts and talents we have received from him.

Still people have tried to escape again and again. Adam and Eve thought by covering up their shameful nakedness, they could hide their sinfulness and fallen state. They imagined that they could escape his scrutiny. Jonah thought he could hide on the wide open seas, yet God caught up with him no time. Rather Jonah had never left God behind. It is as the Psalmist sings:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
(Psa 139:7-11 KJV)

In the past people resorted to cremation and the scattering of their ashes as if that could annihilate their existence completely, ending their responsibility before God, escaping the coming Judgement. Yet that too is but vain and rather wasted energy, because he who calls everything that is out of nothing, will also not fail at the resurrection of the dead and all people. Everybody – whether he was cremated, buried or dissolved in acid – will have to face his throne, when he reappears in glory to judge both the living and the dead. Nobody will be missing. Nobody will be able to be AWOL. Everybody will be there. Everybody will bow their knees and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all and the eternal Judge, but also the only Saviour of the world.

That is why we should live as children of light every day and everywhere. That is his holy will, mandate, command and calling for us. We are to continue in holy living always abiding by his high and holy standards. That’s our lives purpose. That is what we should be concerned with and that’s our daily business. It’s not about taking chances and even trying to get away with murder. Rather it’s about answering our divine calling and living up to his will and command. We are to be obedient and compliant with his rulings and holy laws.

So what about Adam and Eve? What about Jonah? What about us finally? Well, God did not punish those first parents as they deserved. Yes, they were expelled from paradise. Yes, they had to bear the consequences of their sins in manifold ways, yet they did not die. God took further care of them and promised them a saviour, who would come for us and our salvation. He would crush the head of the deceiver and would restore paradise and God’s presence to his lost children. Jonah too did not drown in the depths of the stormy seas, but was rescued by that fish carrying him for three days and nights before restoring him to shore and putting him back on track to comply with his godly calling and divine mission.

In Jesus Christ God himself became man and sought out lost humanity and restored all mankind to blessed salvation and eternal life through his most gracious forgiveness by shedding his blood for them under Pontius Pilate and giving his very body and life as a ransom for many. He is the light that dispels all darkness. He is the life that overcomes death. He is the one and only, who can cope with our sinful state, our miserable poverty and hopeless godlessness – and he did. In and through him we have the forgiveness of all our sins, life and blessed salvation now and forever. For he no longer deals with us as we deserve it, but rather according to his undying love and mercy. So live in this gracious light. Walk in this god-given peace. Continue to taste and see, how good your God is! It is he, who blesses you and keeps you. It is he, who makes his face shine upon you and is gracious to you. It is he, who looks upon you with favour and grants you his peace + Amen.

1. I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.

Refrain:
In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

2.  I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of Righteousness, shine on my path
And show me the way to the Father. [Refrain]

3.  I’m looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the joy of Jesus. [Refrain]

Author: Kathleen Thomerson
Tune: HOUSTON (Thomerson)

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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