Herrenhuter readings for Wednesday, the 23rd September 2015


Come, Thou bright and morning Star…

“Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.” (Psalm 118:25)

The God of Peace equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:21)

This plea resonates strongly with Luther’s words of his beautiful Confitemini: O HERR, hilf! O HERR, lass wohlgelingen! Some days that plea is just more pressing than others. And today is one of those days – again. Be it that the sawed-up femur in little Andiles leg fuses well there in St.Mary’s hospital and her growth is promoted and her health goes from strength to strength. Be it the impending appointment this morning with the psychiatrist down in Pietermaritzburg were we are eager to learn more from diagnosis and possible treatment and cure. Be it with trouble of the single father, who’s trying to cope with taking care of his three teenage children even as he tries to cope with post-graduate studies, administrative tasks and growing obligations far away from home and those very children that are his own and most urgent and crucial responsibility. Be it for our ailing students to overcome the burdens of illness (Shingles/Diabetes), addiction (Alcoholism) and lack of performance and learning. Be it the huge challenge for students and prospective staff to gain a legal visa in the intimidating maze and chaos called “Home Affairs” or be it with that huge and overwhelming flood of migrants storming into Europe presently. Be it to keep the lights on and the water flowing, the refuse removed and the table laid with daily food. These are all things, which are not easy to handle in the very best of days even if they would come upon us one by one and in good order. However that’s not how things go. They are rather like an avalanche that is gaining momentum and capacity at an intimidating velocity. We with our little strength, which is weak at best and rather impotent in relation to these odds, stand in awe and are in danger of being totally overwhelmed. That’s why we call onto God in our distress and cry to our living God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit: “Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.” Help and let things work out ok!

The wonderful thing about our life and calling is, that God hears and does all this creative, supportive, protective and sustaining work for all people even today as every day. He lets it rain over good and bad. He grants daily bread even without our prayer. That’s Him. That’s how he works day in day out. We go about our daily chores without really making an impact or exerting great or real influence, but he makes the difference and determines all things to work out ok, better still very good actually and most excellent and even perfect. “Behold – it was very good!” Yet he does these creative miracles and wonders even in our fallen world and despite our wrongs and trespasses and ongoing failures, mishaps as we go about our daily routine and witness that the world keeps on turning, the sun continues to rise and set, the church continues to grow worldwide and the gospel is preached in so many tongues and voices. The gospel that he does not deal with us as we deserve it due to our sinful rebellion and godless upheaval and protest. Rather he equips, provides and grants us all that is good, meet and salutary. He works his miracles and wonders even through poor, miserable sinners and their endeavours throughout the world, so that his people may rejoice in peace and prosperity. He gives “red cheeks even on a meagre diet and those in bondage he releases from their suffering.” (“Er gibt schöne rote Wangen oft bei geringem Mahl und die da sind gefangen, die führt er aus der Qual.” Paul Gerhard) Although we don’t perceive it with our blind eyes and deaf ears, our hearts are encouraged to believe his promise, that he is building his kingdom, hallowing his name and letting His good will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. This he does without fail. Even as he hears our prayers and heeds our calling. He’s in control. His authority is over all. He reigns for us and our salvation. Taking good care of our parents and our children and ourselves too just as he takes care of countless others way beyond our scope and borders. See, his good will is that all men be saved and come to the insight of truth! This good will he is implementing. He will not fail, because his is the glory, the power, the honour and victory – now and forever.

That is why we can go about our daily business without despairing. We are not God, but we have a heavenly Father, who takes good care of us – and a Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who became our brother, so that we would not be lost and damned forever, but would be saved and come to life and eternal salvation through him and his work of redemption and restoration. Going about our work – not as if we depended on it, but because it is what we’re called upon by God to do. He is the one, who provides and sustains and creates without any merit and worthiness in me. That’s why I am duty bound to thank him, serve him and do as he would want me to live – faithfully trusting his promises, obedient to his commandments in a holy, pure and god-fearing life of righteousness, mercy and patience. Every day casting off doubt, despair and faithlessness and putting on Jesus Christ and living as his new creation, the new birth granted and freely given by him to us in the new birth of Holy Baptism in the Holy Spirit – then and now and every day. To him be thanks and praise and all the glory now and forever.

“You see, God wishes to show us how he cares for us in all our needs and faithfully provides for our daily sustenance. Although he gives and provides these blessings bountifully, even to the godless and rogues, yet he wishes us to ask for them so that we may realise that we have received them from his hand and may recognise in them his fatherly goodness towards us. When he withdraws his hand, nothing can prosper or last for any length of time, as indeed we see and experience every day.” (Luther’s Explanation of the 4th Petition in the Large Catechism Kolb & Wengert Pg. 451f)   Amen.

With the Lord begin your task;
Jesus will direct it.
For his aid and counsel ask;
Jesus will perfect it.
Every morn with Jesus rise,
And when day is ended,
In his name then close your eyes;
Be to him commended.

Let each day begin with prayer,
Praise, and adoration.
On the Lord cast every care;
He is your salvation.
Morning, evening, and at night
Jesus will be near you,
Save you from the tempter’s might,
With his presence cheer you.

With the Savior at your side,
Foes need not alarm you;
In his promised confide,
And no ill can harm you.
All your trust and hope repose
In the mighty master,
Who in wisdom truly knows
How to stem disaster.

If your task by thus begun
With the Saviour’s blessing,
Safely then your course will run,
Toward the promise pressing.
Good will follow every where
While you here must wander.
You at last the joy will share
In the mansions yonder.

Hymn # 483  Lutheran Worship Author: Peter Frank Tune: “Fang Dein Werk mit Jesus an…” 1st Published in: 1734

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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