31 August 2022
30 August 2022
26 August 2022
25 August 2022
23 August 2022
22 August 2022
20 August 2022
Epistle: 1 Cor. 12:1-12
When Paul here speaks of calling Jesus accursed, he does not only have reference to openly blaspheming or cursing Christ’s name or person after the manner of heathen and of ungodly Jews; with them Paul has nothing to do here, nor are the Corinthians supposed to be of that character. Paul refers rather to the Christian who, though boasting of the Holy Spirit, does not preach Christ as the ground of our salvation as he should, but neglecting this truth, points the soul away to something else, pretending that this substitute is of the Holy Spirit and is something better and more essential than the common doctrine of the Gospel. CP VIII:207
The tongue of a minister of Christ—the language he employs—must be of that simplicity which preaches naught but Christ.—CP VIII:207
For instance, they exalt Mary as the mother of Jesus and Anna as his grandmother. But they have they thus torn men’s hearts away from Christ, turning over to Mary and the saints the honor due to him alone, and teaching the people to invoke these as mediators and intercessory having power to protect us in the hour of death. This is substituting dumb idols for Christ. No saint has ever taught such things; still less does the Word of God enjoin them.—CP VIII:208
Gospel: Luke 19:41-48
For we learn here of the very terrible wrath and judgment that befell Jerusalem. From it we must conclude that whoever persists securely in his wickedness and sins should never think that he can outrun the punishment. For as God did not excuse that proud and privileged city—because it had his Word and did not repent—so each individual should take note, leave off his sinning, and repent, for there’s no escaping God’s wrath and punishment if he doesn’t.—HP II:375
To put it another way, Do not just listen to what God says and then fail to improve the way you live, sinning the same way you did before, regardless of what anyone says or does. The punishment for that sin will most certainly come, even it may be a long time in coming. No one who despises God’s Word escapes punishment.—HP II:366
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that God will overlook it if we continue to commit that same sin.—HP II:366
The sin which God considers the greatest sin of them all, the one that he condones or tolerates less than any other, is the sin of his people not acknowledging his Day of Judgment.—HP II:368
There is no advice or help for the person who refuses the forgiveness of sins and the grace of God.—HP II:370
But to those who accept God’s Word and change their ways, this account is a source of comfort and learning. They learn that when God delays punishment, he does this for their benefit and peace, that God wants to graciously forgive their sins, if they just repent by changing their ways, if they just fear and love God. It is not surprise that we are sinners, but if we defend our sins, stubbornly continue in them without repenting, that is something God will not allow. He would rather totally destroy such people, especially when he comes to them with the gracious warning of his Word, pleading for us to repent and we just stubbornly refuse to listen.—HP II:374
But if Christ be no longer with us, our hope will vanish; and wherever this beloved guest is rejected, and his Christians no longer tolerated, government, peace, and everything shall perish.—CP IV:330
And thus it will also go with the world; as its people despise and persecute God’s Word, and become so hardened and blinded, they will blame no one as the cause and merit of their destruction but the precious Gospel itself; which nevertheless alone preserves, thank God, what is still preserved; otherwise all things would long since lay in one common heap of ruins. And yet it must bear the blame for everything that the devil and his clans transact.—CP IV:334
18 August 2022
17 August 2022
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To you we sigh, mourning and weeping
in this valley of tears.
Turn then, our advocate,
those merciful eyes
And Jesus, the blessed fruit of thy womb,
after our exile, show us.
O clement, O loving, O sweet
Now we grant that the blessed Mary prays for the church. But she does not receive souls in death, conquer death, or give life, does she? What does Christ do if the blessed Mary performs all these things? Even though she is worthy of the highest honor, nevertheless she does not want herself to be made equal with Christ, but instead wants us to consider and follow her example. The fact of the matter is that in the court of public opinion the blessed Virgin has completely replaced Christ. People have called upon her, trusted in her mercy, and through her have sought to conciliate Christ, as though he were not the propitiator, but only a dreadful judge and avenger.—Apology XXI:27, 28
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, sorrowful 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.
There you have the beautiful phrases of the prayer addressed to the one that the New Testament tells us is the one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus; who by the way it also calls our Advocate. He can and will receive such supplications and delight to answer them.
Absolutely lovely and stunning the music no doubt is, but even more lovely and stunning is the truth that we may cry directly to our Jesus and that Scripture contains command to do so, many promises about doing so, and numerous examples of such; whereas, the Spirit-inspired Scripture is utterly silent on any command to, promise concerning, or an example of invoking the Mother of God.