Herrenhuter readings for Tuesday, the 8th March 2016

Our Lord God says to his prophet Moses: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exo 33:19 KJV) and St. Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ and missionary to the gentiles writes: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy.” (1Ti 1:12-13 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: Moses was a unlikely candidate for being the greatest prophet pointing to the coming Messiah and saviour of the world IX. Not gifted to speak, rather impulsive and prone to violence, yes, guilty of murder and culpable homicide. A man not quite at home amongst the Israelite slaves because he was raised in the house of Pharao, but not quite part of the political establishment at that time either because of his roots in the favelas and slums of his time. A man not at the centre of things, but rather an outlaw, outcast from civilized society, making a living as a shepherd in the desert and amongst the wandering folk without a fixed abode to call home. Yet, he is the one called by the living God in the burning bush. He is the one, who does miracles and wonders matched time and again by the Egyptian magicians and sorcerers, but who is authorized by God and empowered by him to lead his people out of slavery and into the promised land. Even after he is called and things look all set God almost kills him, illustrating but once again that it is not his own merit or worthiness, but only God’s very own goodness, grace and mercy that determines his election, calling and mission.  Our Lord God says to his prophet Moses: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exo 33:19 KJV)

In the very same way of undeserved favour and gracious calling, divine predestination and election of the vicious persecutor and must injurious tormentor of God’s people and his holy Christian Church, yes this foulmouthed slanderer and blasphemer of God’s very own Son Jesus of Nazareth and blessed Christ, light of light and very God of very God, is stopped short in his evil and godless ways, turned around, converted and put on to the straight and narrow of godly righteousness and obedient service of the one true and living God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Not because of this or that, but rather because of God’s unfathomable and most loving mercy and kindness. It is as St. Paul himself writes to his dear and beloved student, the very honourable Bishop Timothy: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy.” (1Ti 1:12-13 KJV)

God shows his mercy in this way so that we too would gain confidence and put all our trust and hope in him and his forgiving ways. Not holding our trespasses against us, but rather opening up new life and salvation for us and our kind. With God there are no hopeless cases. Rather God himself wants all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.

This is the reason, why the mission of the Church to make disciples of all nations is never a lost cause. The Lord of this mission, Jesus Christ himself, has all authority in heaven and on earth. He is omnipotent and shows mercy where and when it pleases him. He grows his church in his way and in his very good timing too. It is as the Augsburg Confession describes our faith, conviction and confession: “To obtain such faith God instituted the office of preaching, giving the gospel and the sacraments. Through these, as through means, he gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when he wills, in those who hear the gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe.” (CA V Kolb & Wengert Pg. 40)

And we heard this morning’s readings, which recall our Lord God saying to his prophet Moses: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.” (Exo 33:19 KJV) and how St. Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ and missionary to the gentiles writes to his student: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy.” (1Ti 1:12-13 KJV) We praise God’s mercy now and always. Amen.

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

There Is a Balm in Gilead
By: African American Spiritual

  1. Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
    But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
    There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
    There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
  2. If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
    You can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.”
    There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
    There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
  3. Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
    And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
    There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
    There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

 

 

About Wilhelm Weber jr

Rector of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane
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