Herrenhuter readings for Thursday, the 21st May 2015

Mary and Martha

The Lord our God promises: “I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8 KJV) And Martha had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. (Luke 10:39 KJV)

This is a delightful promise of our God. No harsh barking of commands. No reprimands. No punishment. Rather the loving and caring heavenly Father keeping a close eye on his children that on earth do dwell – not to catch them out, but rather to guide them graciously in the ways of peace and truth, in the ways that lead to streams of living water and not into the abyss of eternal condemnation. It’s like the loving mother, who takes her little toddling daughter by the hand and leads her safely across the playground and later on teaches her as she’s growing up to navigate the busy streets of life.

Our heavenly Father does not dismiss us for good after we graduate from confirmation or high school. No, he continues to guide us with his eyes even as we grow up and go about our daily callings – in good and in bad times. He does this best and most appropriately and clearly through the means of his most Holy Word. That’s his divine will and most precious gospel for us and our salvation. It’s all written down, so that we would have the sure confidence of the foundation of our faith in his blessed promises: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psa 119:105 KJV) It’s what we believe, learn, preach, teach and confess as the 3rd use of the Law – the sure guide on our way through life, but also in death and dying. This use is predominantly for those, who believe in Christ – like Mary, Martha and Lazarus did – and who want to live according to God’s holy will and please him in the daily business. It gives them direction and boundaries in life – especially in a time, when pluralism is promoted and seemingly all roads lead to Rome and all cats are deemed grey.

Our Lord and God has compassionate eyes and a caring heart for the people of this world. The evangelist St. Matthew describes this in the 9th chaper: “When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (verse 36) However he does not just leave them to their own devices, but helps and finds good shepherds (pastors) to take care of them: “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (37-38 NIV)

Even in the darkest of hours, he – our Lord Jesus Christ – looked with favour on those around him. Praying to his Father for those, who had tortured, crucified and utimately would kill him: “Father – forgive them for they know not, what they are doing!” Granting forgiveness, life and salvation to the murderer hanging there with him:  “Today you will be with me in paradise!” Taking care and granting family to his very own: “Mother behold your son – and son behold your mother!”

Just before his ascension he raised the eyes of his disciples from the ground to the horizon and beyond: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them everything I’ve entrusted to you. And behold, I am with you until the very end of the age.”

1. Lord, your Word this heavenly treasure, grants us grace and life for sure. Therefore I prefer its blessings way beyond all earthly things. Should your Word not longer carry, we’d be lost and without hope. I’m not searching for vain pleasures, but for lasting life with you.

2. Halelujah, yes and Amen! Lord, look kindly on your child. Let your eye just keep and guide me to be faithful in your Word. Let me always serve you gladly, whilst obeying your command busy in my daily calling as behoves a child of yours.

(Melody: “Herr, Dein Wort die edle Gabe“)

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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