Herrenhuter readings for Tuesday, the 1st March 2016

The Psalmist encourages us: “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (Psa 31:24 KJV) Even as our Lord does too: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mar 13:13 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: Christians – just like all people – are well advised to keep the end in mind. Our mortality is a good educator. Keeping that in mind gives good perspective and proper measure too. The Psalmist sees this as a way to attain wisdom: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psa 90:12 KJV) Surviving the end and to remain standing in the last judgement is what it finally boils down to. Salvation in that divine reckoning is crucial and absolutely vital.

This is only possible in the Lord and by his favourable judgement and gracious verdict. Hoping on his forgiveness and mercy is the only way past that hurdle, which is coming up for every one without fail. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the unfailing advocate, who has the ear of the Father and in unison with him declares us free from all sin and truly forgiven. The Holy Spirit too stands in for us. He testifies for us and intercedes unfailingly for us and for our salvation. That is a sure foundation for our hope to not succumb to all evil counting against us and all the sinful baggage weighing heavily on us. Rather we are assured by the holy Trinity itself, that we are redeemed and restored as true children of God through the divine forgiveness of all our sins. That grants us courage to live our lives faithfully as children of the highest and strengthens us in all affliction and tribulation and suffering on the way there. Even the most bitter hatred and enmity by our opposition and offenders can’t harm us, nor can it steal it from us either, because God himself ensures, guards and guarantees it for us in eternity. Here already he strengthens our heart and makes us confident and bold to trust his goodness and favour and mercy thus not giving up or despairing, but rather lifting up our countenance to him and taking courage for our salvation is drawing near. Yes, it is much closer already than when we came to Christ at first. Rather we are nearly there and it’s not going to be long now. Our Lord Jesus Christ is near. Yes, Lord Jesus come soon! Amen.

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

“Who Knows when Death May Overtake Me”
by Aemilie Juliane, 1637-1706

1. Who knows when death may overtake me!
Time passes on, my end draws near.
How swiftly can my breath forsake me!
How soon can life’s last hour appear!
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

2. The world that smiled when morn was breaking
May change for me ere close of day;
For while on earth my home I’m making,
Death’s threat is never far away.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

3. My end to ponder teach me ever
And, ere the hour of death appears,
To cast my soul on Christ, my Savior,
Nor spare repentant sighs and tears.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

4. Help me now set my house in order
That always ready I may be
To say in meekness on death’s border:
Lord, as Thou wilt, deal Thou with me.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

5. Reveal the sweetness of Thy heaven,
Earth’s galling bitterness unfold;
May I, amid this turmoil riven,
Thy blest eternity behold.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

6. My many sins blot out forever
Since Jesus has my pardon won;
In mercy robed I then shall never
Fear death, but trust in Thee alone.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

7. Naught shall my soul from Jesus sever;
In faith I touch His wounded side
And hail Him as my Lord forever.
Nor life nor death shall us divide.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

8. Once in the blest baptismal waters
I put on Christ and made Him mine;
Now numbered with God’s sons and daughters,
I share His peace and love divine.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

9. His body and His blood I’ve taken
In His blest Supper, feast divine;
Now I shall never be forsaken,
For I am His, and He is mine.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

10. Then may death come today, tomorrow,
I know in Christ I perish not;
He grants the peace that stills all sorrow,
Gives me a robe without a spot.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

11. And thus I live in God contented
And die without a thought of fear;
My soul has to God’s plans consented,
For through His Son my faith is clear.
My God, for Jesus’ sake I pray
Thy peace may bless my dying day.

Hymn #598
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Ps. 90:12
Author: Aemilie Juliane, 1686, ab.
Translated by: composite
Titled: “Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende”
Composer: Christian Moeck, 1818
Tune: “Wer weiss, wie nahe”

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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