Seventh Sunday after Trinity – Wednesday
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. – Isaiah 55:10-11.
Where on earth can true members of the Holy Christian Church, the people of God, be found? Wherever the Gospel of Christ is regularly and consistently in use. See God’s own promise of spiritual fruit at the head of this lesson. If you know of a place where people gather regularly and consistently for the hearing of God’s Word, where the Gospel of Christ comes forth from God’s mouth, as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, then you may and should be altogether certain that there are true believers at that place, that there are some in that local congregation who belong to God’s people. For though there are hypocrites and ungodly folk among those who hear and read the Word of God, yet His Word, when it is preached regularly and consistently (as the rain and snow come down from heaven), it never returns void to God; there must be in that local congregation at least a few who believe the Gospel, a few who are converted, and who will be kept steadfast in their faith by means of this Word.
God has promised it, and you must believe it. So, if you belong to a congregation in which the true Gospel is proclaimed, you should say: I am among people, in whose midst there are children of God, in whose midst God begets children and nourishes them to eternal life. Even if you observe much weakness and certain abuses there, and even if conditions be such as to make you think that there are but very few true believers in that place, you must believe God’s promise and say: There surely are children of God in this place. And instead of complaining and grumbling, or even withdrawing and fleeing, you should rather be active, and do your utmost in application of God’s Word to cure the weakness and to correct every abuse. “Beloved, if God so loved us [in Christ Jesus], we ought also to love one another” (I John 4:11).
PRAYER – I thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast brought me where Thy Word is proclaimed pure and unadulterated, and the Sacraments are rightly administered, hence, where there is a gathering of such as are Thy children through faith in Jesus Christ. Let me always remain Thy dear child. Help all those whose faith may be growing weaker, and, through the power of the Gospel, strengthen and preserve us all unto the end. Amen.
O Christ, our true and only Light, enlighten those who sit in night;
let those afar now hear Thy voice, and in Thy fold with us rejoice.
Fill with the radiance of Thy grace, the souls now lost in error’s maze;
and all whom in their secret minds, some dark delusion haunts and blinds.
(Hymn 512, st. 1 and 2; TLH)