Herrenhuter readings for Tuesday, the 23rd February 2016

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isa 61:11 KJV) Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” (2Co 9:10 KJV)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you + now and always +

Dear friends of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ: The budding of seeds in spring is a never-ending reason for amazement and awe. It’s fascinating to see the snow melt and the green grass shoots growing as far as the eye can see just as it is truly wonderful to see the desert blossom and bloom after good summer rains. Where previously there was just dust and sand and stones, you suddenly are welcomed with endless stretches of flowering profusion of beauty and lovely abundance. It’s all very much magnifying the glory of our God, the creator of all. Isn’t it reason for praise and adoration, that he has designed it so exquisitely and magnificently? That’s not just pragmatic utilitarianism, but much more. It doesn’t just work sustainably over centuries, but even in the most hidden corners and ends of the world – you find beauty,  splendor and divine brilliance in wide open spaces. Practically poured out on the empty wastelands. So rich, benevolent and magnanimous is our God. And if he takes care of the sparrows, how much more will he take care of you, who are so much more than those little brown birds of the sky? It is cause for great wonder and amazement too, how one seed can bring forth fruit 30, 60 and 100 fold. The millet, sorghum or corn seeds illustrate the ample and exponential multiplication of these grains just like the Jack tree, grape vine or potato plant.

The great prophet of the Old Testament Isaiah records God’s promise that he will let righteousness spring forth in a similar way like the flowers of the fields and the fruit even in the most desolate and dry places. Just like that miracle of seed sprouting as if out of nowhere, so too God’s righteousness will come up in places we would expect it least – like amongst sinners, enemies of God and the lost generations of this world. There amongst the unrighteous the living God, the creator of all, who calls that is not there and lets it be, who creates out of nothing and grants and bequests riches to the poor and have-nots – he promises to grant justice, righteousness and integrity where nothing of the same is present presently. God will do it by his creative productivity and the goodness and mercy of his fatherly benevolence and the overflowing generosity and gracious favour of his heart.

As we eat our daily bread, we should remember this divine amplitude and the bounty of his caring goodness, which is new every morning and day of our life. Just as he fills the empty storeroom after the abundant harvest of his gracious gifts, we should trust in him that he will fill our longing for righteousness and justice and lasting peace too – even as we are still seeing and experiencing so little of it as yet. Yet, because he is the almighty creator and gracious father of all, we should not give up hope, but rather take courage and look forward to the day, when after the dry winters and the hot spring winds of persecution, discrimination and injustice he will at last let righteousness, justice and peace flow like a large river bringing flourishing and plentitude to barren landscapes and turning deserts into flowering and blooming fields bringing forth much fruit and plenty rewards of his goodness, mercy and favour. Orphans and widows will receive help. Refugees and migrants will not be left to their own devices. Poor and neglected will see, that there is a God, who does not forsake them, but let’s them hear peace, righteousness and justice. Yes, the gospel will be preached to the poor and they will rejoice and praise Gods name, for he has lifted us up and granted us hope, life and salvation. Then we together with all people will sing his praises and thank his name for he is the creator and saviour of all. Our living God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – one God, who rules and reigns now and forever. We thank and praise him now already in anticipation of the fulfilment of all his wonderful promises in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you always + Amen.

1 When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Refrain (may be sung after final stanza only):
It is well with my soul;
it is well, it is well with my soul.

2 Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control:
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and has shed his own blood for my soul. Refrain

3 My sin oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
my sin, not in part, but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more;
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! Refrain

4 O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul. Refrain

Horatio G. Spafford, 1828-1888.

 

 

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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