The major prophet Isaiah asks: “For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isa 14:27 KJV)
The holy apostle St. Paul: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31 KJV)
Dear friends of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always +
In this mornings reading we have several rhetorical questions. Both prophet and apostle expect the answer to theirs as nobody and nothing. God is in control and he sees his purpose attained. There is nobody and nothing that can hinder, alter or stop him from achieving his goal. His masterplan is in place and he is going about it most steadily and surely to make it happen. There’s no annihilation or annulment in sight. Rather if he speaks it is there and if he ordains it, it happens. Right now he is in the process of fulfilling all his promises, getting his will done and promoting his mission across the globe. There is no turning back for him. Nobody is going to throw him back either. He is accomplishing his mission in glory. That is firstly his judgement over all the world, but also and predominantly the other and most appropriate work, namely the godly salvation, restoration and preservation of his people, the holy Christians saints all over the world, both high and low, rich and poor, free or slave – of all nations, languages, races and kinds. He has raised his arms in glorious victory, blessing the accursed, lifting up the downcast, promoting the destitute, healing the sick, restoring the homeless, edifying the hopeless and faithless, forgiving sinners, raising the dead and just doing miracles and wonders of salvation and vivification. His arms are already raised in triumph. Heaven and earth are his and he’s got all in his hand, caring for us as a mother for her child, comforting, nurturing and flourishing. His thoughts concerning us are ones of goodwill and peace, mercy and grace, love and caring – and nobody and nothing is going to change, hinder or end this ever. For if God is for us, who can be against us? Nothing and nobody. You can be at rest, at peace and just so content for the living God in heaven is your father, brother and most Holy Spirit too.
This is reason enough for us that we should laud and praise, thank and serve him every single day of our lives with all that we are and have – in faithfulness and joy, with passion and dedication – not as a means to an end, but rather for himself and for what he has done for us. There is nothing and nobody that we ought to love, fear or trust more than him. He is all and everything. To him be honour and glory now and always.
Obviously we are just too poor, weak and dismal to realize that properly. The things of this world blind us. False perceptions put us off. Of course we fail him dismally and fall short of the glory and high calling God has put us into through his creation, salvation and sanctification – and still he invites us to see and taste, hear and grasp, how kind he is, how loving and caring, how great his gracious favour and forgiving magnanimity and fatherly generosity and benevolence. He lets it be preached, taught, handed out, tasted, heard and felt so that we trust and believe his gracious promises. His holy words of forgiveness and redemption overcome our weakness, our lack of faith and dismal failures at loving and caring and flourishing in him. It is like the warm summer rains on the parched fields – it brings forth fruit galore and all year round. He does it and nobody is going to stop him either. We are his and he is going to finish and complete the good work he has started in us – despite all the devils within and without. Therefore you can rest assured and praise and thank and serve God with joy and confidence wherever he has put you, keeping you as his now and always so that you will one day see clearly, what he has already begun most graciously and will finish most gloriously. To him be all honour, praise and adoration. Amen.
The peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you always + Amen.
1 All glory be to God on high,
Who hath our race befriended!
To us no harm shall now come nigh,
The strife at last is ended.
God showeth His good will to men,
And peace shall reign on earth again;
O thank Him for His goodness!
2 We praise, we worship Thee, we trust,
And give Thee thanks forever,
O Father, that Thy rule is just
And wise, and changes never.
Thy boundless pow’r o’er all things reigns,
Done is whate’er Thy will ordains:
Well for us that Thou rulest.
3 O Jesus Christ, Thou only Son
Of God, Thy heav’nly Father,
Who didst for all our sins atone
And Thy lost sheep dost gather.
Thou Lamb of God, to Thee on high
From out our depths we sinners cry,
Have mercy on us, Jesus!
4 O Holy Ghost, Thou precious Gift,
Thou Comforter unfailing,
O’er Satan’s snares our souls uplift
And let thy pow’r availing
Avert our woes and calm our dread.
For us the Saviour’s blood was shed;
We trust in Thee to save us.
Nicolaus Decius 1485-1546 (Allein Gott in der Hoeh’ sei Ehr…)