July 28, 2007

True Worship

This has been a terribly busy week for me, and a trying one in unexpected ways. I have felt the darts of the enemy against my faith, and against the preaching of the gospel. The sting has provoked me to sin in ways I'm deeply ashamed of. (God bless my dear wife, whom I affectionately nicknamed "The MoP" this week: "Model of Patience.")

I doubt there is anyone without demons they battle. Mine swing me between pride and despair. So I was greatly comforted by this quotation I came across via a brother pastor, from the Treatise (44): True worship is "the exercise of faith struggling against despair." It seemed such a profound statement, so I looked it up in Tappert (p328), the volume I used in seminary. Lo and behold, I had underlined it. Hence, the value of re-reading (flogs self).

Pray for me, and God grant us all true worship on the morrow.


E. Rapp said...

I looked at page 328 and noticed the footnote which gives the German. I like the way it puts it, "the exercise of faith which struggles against unbelief and despair over the promise of the Gospel." You are in my prayers.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I'm slightly confused - are you actually flogging yourself, or saying that rereading the confessions is akin to flogging yourself? Either way, I don't think either of those are appropriate >=o)

On a serious note - remember that there is a direct connection between pride and despair. Pride makes us to glory in what we have done - and despair sets in when we see how little our vain glories have accomplished. The solution - turn away from your acts and behold what Christ Jesus has done, and indeed, what He continues to do in His Church despite all the attacks Satan and the world throw at it.

Susan said...

(In case it helps any....)
When you have times like this, when you totally despair of yourself and find nothing in you, when your only comfort is in what Christ has declared you to be and what He promises,
it shows in the pastor's preaching. And we who listen are benefited. Like Staupitz said in the new Luther movie, "We preach best what we need to hear most." Your past week and your pain will bring God's gifts to those kids at HT in a way that you could never do without the cross you bear.

Rev. Christopher S. Esget said...

Thanks, all - and I am looking forward to Higher Things. You are so right, Susan, about our "only comfort." I'm never so truly happy as on Sunday, standing before the altar singing the Words of Institution. Without those words, life would be entirely bereft of meaning, no?