21 November 2014

Another "aha"

from the Seed Grains. Long time readers of this blog might recall the firestorm unintentionally set off with this post on the emendation of texts that the Lutherans had practiced at the time of the Reformation. I find it interesting that Loehe carried one of these gems forward in Seed Grains, and it appears as prayer 205 (p. 118). All Hail:

All hail! King of mercy. Hail! Thou Who art the life, the joy, and the hope of our souls. We miserable children of Eve cry unto Thee. We long for Thee, sorrowing and weeping in this vale of tears. Hail, therefore, O Lord Christ! Thou Who dost intercede for us with God, turn Thine eyes, beaming with mercy, upon us, and show Thyself unto us, Thou blessed Son of God and of Mary, when the days of our misery shall have passed. O gracious, gentle, sweet and lovely Jesus Christ. Amen.

Similarly, he offers the Anima Christi (p. 118):

May the soul of Christ sanctify me. May the body of Christ preserve me. May the blood of Christ nourish me. The water that flowed from His riven side, may it cleanse me. In Thy holy wounds let me hide. O Lord, help me that I be never separated from Thee. Defend me against the evil one. In the hour of death set me down by Thee, that I may with all Thy holy angels evermore praise Thee. Amen.


Unknown said...

260Maybe someone can help me with the concept of Christ interceding with God for us, as in Loehe’s, “Hail, therefore, O Lord Christ! Thou Who dost intercede for us with God,…” It is a matter that has trouble me for a long time.
This gives the impression that “God” is still trying to punish us, while Christ tries to convince Him that His own work has atoned for our sins. It sounds so much like pious passion play. On the other hand there is, 2 Corinthians 5:18, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” This states quite succinctly that God the Father and God the Son worked salvation together. In any event, it is impossible for there to be a conflict within the most Holy Trinity.
Also, there are such passages as, Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came to them and spoke unto them, saying, ‘All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth’”. John 10:30, “I and the Father are one”.
In Jeremiah 31: 34 there seems to be no waffling about God’s intentions for His people, “No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”
I have looked at all the passages in the NT which speak of Christ’s and the Holy Spirit’s intercession for us, and it does not seem to me that these necessarily speak of intercession with God. Otherwise one Person of the Trinity would be trying to affect the apparently opposing will of an equal Person of the Trinity. Could it not be that the intercession is with the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh in order to safeguard us in the Kingdom?
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

Jeff said...

I would see intercession in this sense as the same as prayer. Jesus prays for us and the Father joyfully hears Him and responds on behalf of His beloved. I do not think there are any opposing wills in this, just the Holy Trinity speaking of us amongst itself and the Son and Spirit interceding on our behalf (sometimes with groaning too deep for words) to the Father. The Father desires to give us good things, and does so even without our prayers, yet we still pray. Jesus loves and cares for us and so how could He not seek our good from He who is the Giver of all good gifts?

Perhaps that is too simplistic an explanation though.

Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

Always wondered why they didn't change "Evae" to "Adae" after changing Regina to Rex. In the original, it seems Mary is being likened to a 2nd Eve as Paul calls Jesus a 2nd Adam.

William Weedon said...

Dear George,

I don't think intercession in anyway implies an opposition of will. The Son and the Spirit intercede for us according to the will of the Father. This reaches right into the mystery of prayer. Why prayer for any of us? The only answer that holds is because our Father commands it, has promised to hear us, and given us the pattern and words for it. But we don't figure it out. It remains a great mystery. And yet also a huge comfort to know that the Son prays for us at the Father's right hand the Spirit prays within us with groans past our verbalizations. AND they never cease to ask that the Father's good, gracious, and perfect will be done.

A blessed thanksgiving to one and all!

Unknown said...

Thank you Will, and Jeff too. I hope you and your families are enjoying a fulfilling and filling Thanksgiving.
It seems to me that when Löhe speaks of “Our Lord Christ” interceding with “God”, there is a problem in that “Our Lord Christ” is God. This is not a problem when the Holy Spirit “intercedes” for us, inasmuch as He is then doing for us what we are unable to do properly. Not so “Our Lord Christ”, who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth and Who is able to do everything to perfection.
Our part in intercession involves words; that is, prayer. Some prayers praise, thank, worship and glorify God. Intercessory prayers ask for some action, whether from God directly to us, as in “Give us this day our daily bread”, or in preventing some action, as in “Do not bring us to the test”. But whether we ask for something good to happen to ourselves or others for whom we pray, or whether we ask for something bad to be prevented from happening to us or others for whom we pray, God’s part is the action. We may think of this action being accompanied by words, or the Word, as in “Let there be light”, but ultimately intercession involves action by God.
Heinrich Schmid’s “Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church” has a whole section on intercession, which starts with the sentence, “For, after Christ had thus offered Himself as a sacrifice for man, the second part of His priestly office consists in His actively interceding with the Father, when He had been exalted to His right hand, upon the ground of His merit, so that men thus redeemed may have the benefit of all that He has secured” In other words, the Father is reluctant to grant these things to man; therefore our Lord has to continue pleading for us throughout eternity? I suspect that in reality the Most Holy Trinity, without conflict among themselves, is constantly in action doing what they have determined from eternity to do for those who are in the Kingdom of God.
Again, the Son does not pray for us to the Father, because They are of one will. He is indeed at the right hand of God, but there He intercedes for us; that is, He makes things happen or He prevents things from happening. In this the Most Holy Trinity acts without the need for conversation among them as to what to do.
And, yes, ultimately prayer is a mystery as is the Most Holy Trinity.
Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart