Friday, June 4, 2021

Saturday prior to Proper 5


Ephesians 6:10-18 -Sunday’s hymn of the day, Rise! To Arms! With employ you.(LSB 668)Human effort is inadequate. Yet God’s power is invincible. Thus the warning, we do not last out against human opponents as though they were the real enemy. Nor can we assume that the battle can be fought using merely human resources. We battle against dark evil forces. Thus we arm ourselves with the Gospel and it is Christ, our champion who battles for us in the war against temptation, doubt, the devil and our own sinful self.

his hymn, in the Church Militant section of Lutheran Service Book, is a bold encouragement to Christians to “put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). The text is by Wilhelm Erasmus Arends (1677-1721), a Lutheran Pastor in Crottorf, in the Western part of Germany. The tune, WACHET AUF, was written for the text “Wake, Awake, For Night is Flying.” The composer, Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), was a German Lutheran pastor who wrote both text and tune for the hymn “Wake, Awake, For Night is Flying” (LSB 516) and “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” (LSB 395).

Stanza One:

Rise! To arms! With prayer employ you, O Christians, lest the foe destroy you; For Satan has designed your fall. Wield God’s Word, the weapon glorious; Against all foes be thus victorious, For God protects you from them all. Fear not the hordes of hell, Here is Emmanuel. Hail the Savior! The strong foes yield To Christ, our shield, And we, the victors, hold the field.

When our Lord was tempted by Satan He did not use His divine powers, but the Word of God, the “sword of the Spirit,” as St. Paul writes in Ephesians 6. We Christians, then, also use the Word and prayer, which is speaking back to God the promises He’s given us, in our daily fight against the Devil. We need not fear the hordes of hell, for Christ has won the victory.[2]

Prayer for the aged: Almighty God and gracious Father, in Your mercy look on those whose increasing years bring them weakness, anxiety, distress, or loneliness. Grant that they may always know care and respect, concern and understanding. Grant them willing hearts to accept help and, as their strength wanes, increase their faith with the constant assurance of Your love through Jesus Christ, their Savior[3]. Amen. -5 June 2021

[1] Luther’s Seal copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
[3] Lutheran Service Book © 206 Concordia Publishing House, St Louis

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