Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. (Psa 84:5)
Text: Romans 12:6-16
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
What glorious exhortations! Let them be fulfilled in our daily lives! Let our hearts be full of genuine fear of God, holy abhorrence of evil, living desire for good, inner devotion to one another, brotherly love toward one another, true respect for one another, fervent zeal in the Lord’s service, joy in hope, patience in tribulation, and perseverance in prayer. Let us distribute to the needs of the saints, show hospitality, bless those who curse us, rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep, be united in heart and mind. Let humility, modesty, and holy rejection of worldly pride and greatness, let these things adorn our walk, fill our homes, and show them to be Christian homes! Jesus is here and will perform it in us. Let us believe in His wondrous power and live in it and make use of it.
Miraculous power is needed, for sure. Of course, our piety will fall short! You have yourself and the devil and the whole world against you. You must constantly sail against the current and must absolutely not give in to self-will, unbelief, apathy, and the wickedness you see in the world around you! But Jesus’ miraculous power is here. He simply says: “Fill the waterpots with water to the brim; draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast.” And there is a power in His words, which both causes the servants do what seems unreasonable, and causes the water which is drawn to be wine. He works in us what His Apostle says we must do. “Command, Lord, what You will, and perform what You command” (Augustine: Confessions, Book 10, chapter 29). That is our heartfelt prayer.
Let it happen with us as Your Apostle exhorts. We hunger and thirst for it. Grant it to us by the mighty power of Your rich grace. Amen.
The sev’nfold gifts of grace are Thine,
O Finger of the Hand Divine;
True Promise of the Father Thou,
Who dost the tongue with speech endow.
Thy light to ev’ry thought impart,
And shed Thy love in ev’ry heart;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.
Drive far away our wily foe,
And Thine abiding peace bestow;
If Thou be our protecting Guide,
No evil can our steps betide.
Rhabanus Maurus: Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest L 209:3-5 ELH 10:3-5 tr. E. Caswall;
tune: Komm, Gott Schöpfer