Herrenhuter readings for Wednesday, the 15th April 2015

vasili-belyaev-st-mikhail-the-archangel-and-the-angelic-hosts-church-on-the-blood-st-petersburg-Humanity-Healing

Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. (Judges 5:3 KJV)
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25 KJV)

The miracles and wonders of our Lord, the triune God, have elicited laud and praise from his people from the very beginning. The daily gifts and rich blessings of creation with the forthcoming fruits of thanks and praise, service and obedience are summarized by Dr. Martin Luther in his Small Catechism: “I believe that God has created me together with all that exists. God has given me and still preserves my body and soul: eyes, ears, and all limbs and senses; reason and all mental faculties. In addition, God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields, livestock, and all property—along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life. God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil. And all this is done out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all! For all of this I owe it to God to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true.” (Kolb & Wengert Book of Concord, 2000, Pg. 354)

This gratitude, glorification and praise is owed by us for God’s goodness, protection, creation and preservation as Luther further elaborates in the Large Catechism:  “We ought daily to practice this article, impress it upon our minds, and remember it in everything we see and in every blessing that comes our way. Whenever we escape distress or danger, we should recognize how God gives and does all of this so that we may sense and see in them his fatherly heart and his boundless love toward us. Thus our hearts will be warmed and kindled with gratitude to God and a desire to use all these blessings to his glory and praise.” (Ebd 433) 

Now in the time of Easter we celebrate the great works of salvation too, which our God has carried out for us and our salvation in the mission of his only begotten son Jesus Christ, our Lord – once and for all. The churches across the globe resound with the multitude of Hallelujahs as the redeemed and forgiven congregations sing his praises and worship his glorious name and history. Like this morning, when we sang in the Seminary chapel: “O Saviour, precious Saviour, whom yet unseen we love…” (LSB 527).

Yet this song of worship, thanks and praise does not only resound in the safety of our chapels and sanctuaries, but also in the deepest gloom of suffering as the story of St. Paul and his colleague Silas in the depth of that Phillipian prison prove. There in the middle of the night and in the chains of that darkest dungeon they pray the prayers of the Church and sing the hymns of the faithful. They know, that after night comes day and even after death comes life. God has saved his people from all evil, sin, death and devil. There is nothing and nobody that can tear them out of the loving and caring hands of their Father, the one true God and Lord of all. Rather he sees to it that all and everything will serve to our best – even if we only see it with our own eyes on that day, when he will return in glory to judge the living and the dead – and then finally complete and finish his glorious work of salvation with us. Then we will have come from faith to experience. Until then however the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs of thanksgiving and praise will never cease in the Church again and even if we pause and stop for this or that reason, we know that the new song of those justified and forgiven by the blood of the lamb will never end. For he lives and reigns now and forever. To him be glory and praise Amen. Hallelujah +

“O Savior, Precious Savior”
by Francis R. Havergal, 1836-1879

1. O Savior, precious Savior,
Whom, yet unseen, we love;
O Name of might and favor,
All other names above.
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee,
Our holy Lord and King.

2. O Bringer of salvation,
Who wondrously has wrought
Thyself the revelation
Of love beyond our thought,
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee,
Our holy Lord and King.

3. In Thee all fulness dwelleth,
All grace and power divine;
The glory that excelleth,
O Son of God, is Thine.
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee,
Our holy Lord and King.

4. Oh, grant the consummation
Of this our song above
In endless adoration
And everlasting love!
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee and confess Thee,
Our holy Lord and King.

Hymn #352  The Lutheran Hymnal Text: 1 Pet. 1:8 Author: Francis R. Havergal, 1870

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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