As you journey to the Cross and Open Tomb this Lenten season may this time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving be a time of repentance and renewal as you fix your eyes on the Priceless Treasure, our Jesus, purest source of pleasure, truest friend indeed!
I ran across this quote from Luther today while I was working on a project and thought it was an appropriate one as we move into Lent.
Let us be calmly confident in this cause which has to do with God’s word. Christ, whose cause it is, will staunchly defend and uphold it against the cunning of the vile devil and the tyranny of the wicked and deceitful world. For those who confess him before this evil and adulterous generation and must suffer much thereby, Christ in turn will confess them before his heavenly Father and requite them for their suffering with the delights of eternity [Matt. 10:32]. God himself says, I Samuel 2 [:30], “He who honors me, I will honor.” Even if the waves of the sea are strong and huge billows rise up and roar furiously as though they would drown us, the Lord is still on high and has begun a kingdom as wide as the world which he now rules and has decreed that it shall endure. He is greater, yes, almighty, and he will accomplish it. Amen. There is no other way—if we desire to possess Christ, to live and to rule with him in eternity, then suffering must first be endured. Because this is so, why should we heed the rage and fury of such deadly powers, of whom Psalm 2 [:4] says God in heaven laughs at them and holds them in derision. If the eternal and omnipotent emperor whose name is God and who lives to all eternity mocks and derides them, why should we fear them, or mourn and weep? Truly, God does not mock them in his own defense. He will always be the one dwelling in heaven no matter how they rage against him. But he mocks them to encourage us, so that we may take heart and bravely laugh at their onslaughts. Therefore the only thing necessary for us to do is to believe and to pray most confidently in Christ’s name that God will give us strength, since he has erected his kingdom and this is his doing. It is he who without our help, counsel, thought, or effort has brought his kingdom forth and has advanced and preserved it to this day. I have no doubt that he will consummate it without our advice or assistance. Because “I know in whom I believe,” as St. Paul says [II Tim. 1:12], I am certain that he will grant me more, do far more abundantly, and help and counsel us beyond all that we ask or think [Eph. 3:20]. He is called the Lord who can and will help in a wonderful, glorious, and mighty way, particularly when the need is the greatest. We are meant to be human beings, not divine. So let us take comfort in his word and, trusting his promise, call upon him confidently for deliverance in time of distress and he will help. That is all there is to it; we have no alternative; otherwise, eternal unrest would be our reward. May God save us from that for the sake of his dear Son, our Savior and eternal Priest, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Source: Luther’s Works, 43:176.