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Herrnhuter Daily Reading - 10 Minutes with God

The Pearl of the Day on Zion's Daughter

"Watchword for September 1, 2023

You have wearied yourself with the multitude of your plans.
Isaiah 47:13

Do not think yourselves wise.
Romans 12:16"

( Herrnhut Watchwords)


The Daily Pearl

My dear friends and followers,

"Let love be without falsehood. Hate the evil, adhere to the good. 10 Let brotherly love be heartfelt. One precede the other with honor. 11 Do not be sluggish in what you should do. Be on fire in spirit. Serve the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, persevering in prayer. 13 Take care of the needs of the saints. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with the joyful, weep with those who weep. 16 Be of one mind with one another. Do not seek high things, but hold yourselves to the lowly. Do not think yourselves wise. 17 Do not repay anyone evil with evil. Be mindful of good toward everyone. 18 If it is possible, as much as is in you, be at peace with all men. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay," says the Lord." 20 Rather, "if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink. If you do this, you will gather fiery coals on his head. "21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

(Romans 12:9 ff, Luther 2017)

"You have wearied yourself with your own plans"

"God is still healing you! Hallelujah! You just have to believe it!"

"God told me that you should take care of the little ones some more because you won't have time, He's making you a spokesman to nations! Claim it!"

I am sad this morning.

Also a little helpless with regard to delusion, to divination disguised as prophecy. Both statements are real - one said to someone who died the night before last after a miserable battle with cancer, and who was distraught to the end that it didn't work, instead of being able to find peace.

The second statement- was to me, years ago- and terrified I cried out "NO!- this must never happen!". The day I have "no more time" for "the little ones" is the day I have lost my way!"

What does this have to do with today's watchwords?

This only becomes clear, and only then, when one brings the Bible passages back into their context, but then it becomes crystal clear:

Babylon has become tired of her "own plans" - her own pride, her own wishful dreams, illusions, sorcery and the belief that she can direct world events herself. The sentence is taken from God's announcement to tear down Babylon - exactly because of that.

The sentence:"Do not consider yourselves wise" ( do not choose your own ways over God's t.a.) is in a whole paragraph describing how the way of a Christian should look like. And how different it is from much that I see proclaimed, over and over and over again- and which so often plunges people into sheer despair when things then "turn out differently".

What makes me angry is not that brothers and sisters in faith can be mistaken, can become blind to realities - you know - we have an enemy, and he is very skilled in seducing the elect.

No, I am not angry with those who hold on to beliefs that have been drilled into them over the years.
What makes me angry are the consequences.

If someone gets as seriously ill as our friend (and many others) experienced, and false hopes are nurtured, he or she will most likely end up blaming God or be massively insecure that it didn't turn out that way.

But God, Jesus, who was there all the time, who stretched out his hand, who said: "I will bring you home, home from this fallen world, I will stand by you"- this quiet voice is overheard.

"Do not think yourselves wise".

Which way God will choose with which person is beyond our knowledge. Yes, miracles of healing happen, providence happens, in every Christian life there are inexplicable turns, insight, a higher meaning that we follow. But Jesus never promised us that we can play "new kingdom" and be successful with it. Nowhere are there hints that we are all called to rule, and nowhere is "mass rather than class" preached.

On the contrary, the directive Paul gives is down-to-earth, practical, and spoken into all of our lives. It calls for a simple, trusting life that accepts God's ways and yet is sustained by hope - the hope of the coming Kingdom. Living appreciatively, not hating enemies, leaving judgment to God, serving, being cordial, that is, warm-hearted and responsive - we can do all this only if we are willing to perceive the needs of others, to meet them, in word and deed, and in direct attention.

Paul did not speak of false hope or the renewed establishment of Babylon with its self-importance, with its illusions, with its fortune-telling and its false splendor.

Often I think: It is fatal:

If one stays with the Bible and what it says, then one meets far too many who generously read over warm-heartedness, grace, love, attention and not judging- but if one concentrates on it, it seems as if there was only the alternative to reject everything biblical.

The problem is: both directions reject Jesus. Because Jesus is the fulfillment of the Word - and full of love.

May we follow Jesus Christ of Nazareth in what he has instructed us to do.

May we not strive for the great, unattainable, but for the small, which he can make great- yes- but with a heart that stays with the small and does not lose itself in the intoxication of its own glory.

And when you see someone die- do not nurture false hopes. We can ask for healing, but when it becomes obvious that it will not be granted, let us give hope- give hope for what is to come.

No one benefits if we think ourselves so powerful and all-knowing. Think yourselves...not wise, because your own ways- they make you tired.

Be blessed, though very downcast today.

Daughter of Zion/Sibylle

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