Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's All About Christ

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany of Our Lord
January 31, 2010

The Lord be with you

As our worship service was canceled today because of the icy roads, I thought I’d post a reading from Anselm of Canterbury, which was a portion of my morning devotion. I’m using Treasury of Daily Prayer, published by Concordia Publishing House. Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033 –April 21, 1109) was an Italian, a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109.

    Christian soul, soul raised from sad death, soul redeemed from miserable slavery and set free by the blood of God: rouse your mind, dwell upon your resurrection from the dead, and ponder well the history of your redemption and your liberation. Consider where the strength of your salvation comes from, and what it is. Employ yourself in musing on it, delight yourself in contemplating it; shake off your sloth, do violence to your heart, bend your whole mind to it. Taste the goodness of your Redeemer, break forth in fires of love to your Savior. Bite the honeycomb of the words that tell of it, suck their savor more pleasant than honey, swallow their wholesome sweetness. Bite by thinking, suck by understanding, swallow as you love and rejoice. Gladden yourself by biting, exult in sucking, fill yourself to the full with joy by swallowing. Where and what is the strength and power of your salvation? Christ, Christ assuredly has raised you up again. He, the Good Samaritan, has healed you. He, the good friend, has redeemed you with His life and set you free. Christ, I say, Christ is He. And so the strength of your salvation is the strength of Christ....

    Christian soul, here is the strength of your salvation; here is the cause of your freedom; here is the price of your redemption. You were a captive, but you have been redeemed; you were a slave, but [by Him] are made free. And so, an exile, you are brought home; lost, you are reclaimed; and dead, you are restored to life. This let your heart taste, O man, this let it suck, this let it swallow, while your mouth receives the body and blood of your Redeemer. In this present life make this your daily bread, your nourishment, your support in pilgrimage. For by means of this, this and nothing else, you remain in Christ and Christ in you, and in the life to come your joy shall be full.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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