Herrenhuter readings for Wednesday, the 2nd March 2016

The prophet Isaiah lauds the lovely service of preaching the gospel and sharing God’s good gifts: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”” (Isa 52:7 NIV) And the apostle St. Paul admonishes the Ephesians: “Keep your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” (Eph 6:15 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: From the very beginning of time the office of the ministry has been most glorious and precious in the sight of the Lord, bringing divine grace, peace, goodwill and favour to those, who are sitting in darkness and shadow of death. From the very fall from grace and into our dire sinful state, mankind has been desperate for the good, meet and salutary words from the mouth of our God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Eating bread in the sweat of our brow was just not enough for living. God’s Word itself was required to live, grow and flourish. Without it we were but passing shadows and fleeting breaths. The hunger for God’s Word is far worse than any other famine we can imagine. God knew this. That is why from the very beginning, he has in his fatherly compassion and kindness of heart sought out Adam and Eve, called them back into his presence and soothed the self-inflicted pain of faithlessness and idolatry with the hope of redemption, restoration, repair and lastly renewal.

The good news from the beginning for us is that “God reigns” and that despite our opposition, rebellion and desertion God carries out his reign in our favour and for our ultimate salvation. That is the purpose of the gospel from the very beginning, to strengthen our hope and faith in the one, who will come and bring back peace, goodwill and eternal salvation. It’s Jesus Christ – the promised Messiah, the only begotten Son of the Father, light of light, very God of very God, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried and rose again from the dead, lives and reigns at the right hand of the Father, whose kingdom will not end. At his birth peace and goodwill were proclaimed by those angelic hosts, they brought the good tidings to the shepherds, who again shared it with all whom they met after they saw that it was true and that the Saviour of the world had been born. This news has spread across the globe. There are saints of the Christian church all over the world. They live by this message. It’s this proclamation that sustains them day in, day out. It’s what helps them overcome all despair, lack of hope, dark times and most severe suffering.  For they know with Zion of old: “Our God lives and reigns forever!” He lives and we shall live also. He is coming to bring us home and therefore we need not give up, but rather can lift up our faces and wait patiently and content even in most serious depravation, trials and temptations.

Even more, we don’t just sit and wait and twiddle our thumbs, but rather follow the admonition of the apostle St.Paul, the greatest missionary of all: “Keep your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” As long as it is day and as long as there are still people without this message of deliverance and hope, Christians as holy Saints of the Church are prepared, have studied and were equipped to share, spread, teach, preach and instruct this gospel of peace beyond the narrow confines of the church, beyond the borders of faithful believers, right in the public square be it secular, pagan or blatantly antichristian even. The Christians are not the enemies of the state nor of the people of this world. On the contrary, they come with words of peace, peace that passes all understanding and which carries through thick and thin and despite all odds. Even where they are prosecuted, they pray and do good; where they are cursed and blasphemed they bless and spread goodwill and peace + They truly are the light and salt of the earth. Freely they have received and freely they share and give, what they have. Praise be to their God, Lord and king now and always, who has prepared himself such a beautiful and lovely bride in the middle of this world and time. Amen.  The peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you always + Amen.

I Leave All Things to God’s Direction
By: Salomo Franck

I leave all things to God’s direction,
For he loves me in wealth or woe;
His will is good, and his affection,
His tender love is true, I know.
My strength, my fortress rock is he:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

My God has all things in his keeping,
He is my ever faithful friend;
He gives me laughter after weeping,
And all his ways in blessing end.
His love endures eternally:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

The will of God shall be my pleasure
While here I live life’s interim;
My will is wrong beyond all measure,
It does not will what pleases him.
The Christian’s motto then must be:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

God knows what must be done to save me,
His love for me will never cease;
And all my sins my Lord forgave me
With purest gold of loving grace.
His will supreme must ever be:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

My God desires each soul’s salvation,
My soul he too desires to save;
Therefore with Christian resignation
All earthly troubles I will brave.
His will be done eternally:
What pleases God, that pleases me.

Hymn # 429
Lutheran Worship
Author: Georg Neumark
Tune: Wer Nur Den Lieben Gott
1st Published in: 1685

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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