Herrenhuter readings for Friday, the 27th February 2015

jesus-in-synagogue-kosovo-14th

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. (Psa 25:8 KJV)

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. (Rom 14:1 KJV)

It was Luther’s reformational insight that God’s righteousness is such, that it does not only describe his essential being, judgement and doing, but rather that his righteousness is so overwhelming and effective that it swallows the unrighteousness, justifies sinners and declares them forgiven. The same holds true for his goodness and uprightness. This does not just pertain to and describe/list God’s qualities and attributes, but rather teaches sinners the way, grants them forgiveness, pardon and divine favour thus  showing them the light, truth, life and salvation.

This is the basis for the wonderful exchange that Jesus Christ – the Son of God and our true brother and friend – practiced all along in his saving mission and lifelong ministry/service. He received the weak, faint hearted, poor, ill, diseased, afflicted, heavy burdened, miserable sinners – and took on himself their afflictions, iniquities, distress and burdens and made them free, whole and acceptable in God’s sight instead. He, who was rich became poor, so that we would gain his all in heaven.

The saving Gospel of our Lord is therefore not some learned tractate, which needs to be learnt of by heart or some tricky questionnaire, which has to be filled out adequately before one passes the divine judgement and enters into the graduation hall of heaven. No – that’s not it. That’s why our chapels and churches are not really some lecture halls or class rooms for the intellectuals of the ages either. They are rather places, where the Lord our God hands out his gracious gifts, does his miracles and wonders and lets us depart in peace. It’s far more like a hospital or clinic than some school or college. That’s why St. Paul also adds this admonition: Don’t pull in the weak for doubtful disputations, were speculations run rife, conspiracy theories are hatched and myths, fables and other ideologies are fabricated. No, it’s not about rhetorics or clever theories, but rather about the facts of life and realities of God. He speaks and it stands there. He promises and fulfills it all and always. He’s truly good and righteous. What he does is good, meet and salutary too. That’s what we teach and learn at Seminaries too. Praise be to him now and always + Amen.

Oh, How Great Is Your Compassion by: Johannes Olearius

Ho, how great is your compassion,
Faithful Father, God of grace,
That with all our fallen race
In our depth of degradation
You had mercy so that we
Might be saved eternally!

Your great love for this has striven
That we may, from sin made free,
Live with you eternally.
Your dear Son himself has given
And extends his gracious call,
To his supper calls us all.

Firmly to our soul’s salvation
Witnesses your Spirit, Lord,
In your sacraments and Word.
There he sends true consolation,
Giving us the gift of faith
That we fear not hell nor death.

Lord, your mercy will not leave me;
Ever will your truth abide.
Then in you I will confide.
Since your word cannot deceive me,
My salvation is to me
Safe and sure eternally.

I will praise your great compassion,
Faithful Father, God of grace
That with all our fallen race
In our depth of degradation
You had mercy so that we
Might be saved eternally.

Hymn # 364 from Lutheran Worship Author: Hirtenlieder
Tune: Ach, Was soll Ich Sunder Machen 1st Published in: 1653

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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