Third Sunday in Advent – Friday
Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. – Matthew 28:20.
Thus spake the risen Savior to the congregation of His disciples which had been assembled on a mount in Galilee. “You” means all His disciples unto the end of the world. He comes to us through His Word and Sacrament; and He is with us always as true God and true man, since He is the omnipresent Lord God.
But only through His Word and Sacrament does He make Himself known to us, and there we take Him – Him and His salvation. He is with us always, in great mercy, love, and truth. He does not leave His own to themselves, comfortless, in this wicked world: He is with us. Thanks be to Thee, Lord Jesus!
And what is it, above all, that He wants to accomplish among the nations of the world? By means of our word and testimony He wants to gain more men for His blessed kingdom of grace; and us, and all those so gained, He wants to keep in faith unto the end – unto salvation. That is His chief aim. And what could be better? What does all other gain profit us, if we do not remain in the faith, and finally will not be saved? To this end He governs our whole life, and causes all things to work together for the good of His elect. Thanks be to Thee, Lord Jesus!
He is with us always, the Almighty, the All-merciful. He is with us with a tenderness greater than that of a mother. He has given His angels charge concerning us, to keep us in all our ways. But the watch His angels keep is as nothing compared with Christ’s omnipresence. He is with us when we sleep, when we wake, when we weep, when we laugh, when we err, when we fear, when we cry and yearn for Him. He is with us always, and guards us against the devil, the world, and ourselves, – against our wicked heart, which forever wants to err. He is with us always, until, at last, we shall be with Him forever.
PRAYER. – Thanks be to Thee, Lord Jesus, that Thou art with me always. I rejoice to know this, that I know I am in Thy care, in Thy keeping, in Thy protection. Abide with me, Lord Jesus, and do not leave me to myself. Keep me as the apple of Thine eye, Lord Jesus. Into Thy trusty, saving hand I wholly commend both my body and soul. I cannot find the way to heaven in myself, nor can I protect myself against my enemies. But Thou art with me. Thanks be to Thee, dear Savior! Amen.
Abide, O faithful Savior,
Among us with Thy love;
Grant steadfastness and help us
To reach our home above.
Hymn 53. 6.