Hey, hearts hear here!

Looking forward to Sunday. It´s the 2nd Sunday before Lent – “Sexagesimae” – and stands under the watchword from Hebrews 3:

Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks! 

Hebrews 3:15

The Introit from Psalm 119, which teaches us so much about God´s Word and Teaching:

O Lord, your instructions endure; they stand secure in heaven.
You demonstrate your faithfulness to all generations.
You established the earth and it stood firm.
Today they stand firm by your decrees,
for all things are your servants.
If I had not found encouragement in your law,
I would have died in my sorrow.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have revived me.

Your words are sweeter in my mouth than honey!
Your precepts give me discernment.
Therefore I hate all deceitful actions.

Your word is a lamp to walk by,
and a light to illumine my path.

Sustain me as you promised, so that I will live.
Do not disappoint me.

Psalm 119:89-92.103-105.116

The Old Testament lesson is from the Prophet Isaiah and focusses us the glorious efficacy of God´s Word, so that He does, what He says:

Indeed, my plans are not like your plans,
and my deeds are not like your deeds,” says the Lord,
“for just as the sky is higher than the earth,
so my deeds are superior toyour deeds
and my plans superior to your plans.
The rain and snow fall from the sky and do not return,
but instead water the earth and make it produce and yield crops,
and provide seed for the planter and food for those who must eat.
In the same way, the promise that I make does not return to me, having accomplished nothing. 
No, it is realized as I desire and is fulfilled as I intend.”
Indeed you will go out with joy; you will be led along in peace.

Isaiah 55:8-12a

Yes, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews

The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. And no creature is hidden from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Hebrews 4:12-13

That is why the Augsburg Confession teaches us to confess that God´s powerful Word is an effective  means for salvation and of grace: 

For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ’s sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into grace for Christ’s sake.

Augsburg Confession Article 5

And we can rejoice, that the triune God speaks to us kindly and with gracious favor – often and most readily – like the sower, who went out to sow seed most freely and abundantly. That´s the gospel for Sunday – in the context of His admonition to better listen up:

A sower went out to sowhis seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the wild birdsdevoured it. Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and chokedit. Butother seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.” As he said this, he called out, “The one who has ears to hear had better listen!”

Luke 8:4-8

We´ll be singing in German, but if we were to have an English service, I would sing both hymns by Martin H. Franzmann (1907-1976) on God´s Word – and two of my very personal favorites. The one, which paraphrases the gospel: “Preach You the Word…” (LSB 586) all six stanzas, but also the other “Thy strong Word did cleave the darkness…” (LSB 578):  

Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
At thy speaking it was done.
For created light we thank thee
While thine ordered seasons run.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
Dark as night and deep as death,
Broke the light of thy salvation,
Breathed thine own life-giving breath.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous;
Bright with thine own holiness,
Glorious now, we press toward glory,
And our lives our hope confess.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

From the cross thy wisdom shining
Breaketh forth in conqu’ring might;
From the cross forever beameth
All thy bright redeeming light.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia without end!

Give us lips to sing thy glory,
Tongues thy mercy to proclaim,
Throats to shout the hope that fills us,
Mouths to speak thy holy name.
Alleluia! Alleluia! May the light which thou dost send
Fill our songs with alleluias, Alleluias without end!

God the Father, light-creator,
To thee laud and honor be.
To thee, Light from Light begotten,
Praise be sung eternally.
Holy Spirit, light-revealer, Glory, glory be to thee.
Mortals, angels, now and ever Praise the holy Trinity!

Martin H. Franzmann (1907-1976)

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
This entry was posted in Hymns, Lectionary etc, Old Latin School in Wittenberg, Prelenten Sundays, Sunday, Sundays before Lent, You comfort me + and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hey, hearts hear here!

  1. Allan Scharlach says:

    Hello. My name is Rev Allan Scharlach, Pastor Emeritus in Lutheran Church Canada. I came across the name Günther Scharlach while trying to find information about my family. I was very surprised to find this. They came to Canada from Hilsbach, near Sinsheim in the mid 1850s. Seeing his name and of course occupation as well I thought I would make contact to see if you might know of any Scharlachs from that area or put me in touch with someone who might know. I realize this is a long shot but would appreciate any help you might offer.
    It is good to see the connection with confessional Lutheranism. We were connected with Missouri Synod and went independent in 1988.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. God be with you.
    Rev Allan Scharlach

    • Dear Pastor, my wife Angelika is a Scharlach. Her father – Günter – had one brother (Werner), who fell in the 2nd WW. Günter´s parents lived in Bochum before the war, but originated further east. He, my father-in-law moved to South Africa after the war and his parents joined him there, once they reached retirement. There are no other Scharlachs I know, except the four brothers of Angelika (2 more have already died), and their children and grandchildren living in Australia, South Africa and Germany.

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