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Archive for December 23rd, 2015

Quote from Rev. Philipp Nicolai (1553-1608 ( Lutheran Pastor and Hymnwriter (notably, he wrote “Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying”, text and tune, LSB #516; quote is cited in The Treasury of Daily Prayer (Concordia Publishing House)

“Heavenly love is also noticeably strengthened by the eternal vision of the divine essence.  “We will see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2) similarly, Christ prays, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, (to see My Glory)” (John 17: 24) He also says of the angels, “Their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven” [Matthew 18:10]. And David says, “When shall I come, that I may see the face of God?” [Psalm 42:2]; “1 shall behold Your face in righteousness” [Psalm 17:15], “for with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see the light” [Psalm 36:9].

            Now since God is love itself and reveals His essence in heaven visibly, so that angels and men behold His face, what do they behold and see in God with their pure eyes besides pure love? And what is the majestic brightness of the divine essence other than pure flames of love and brightness of love, which with great joy shines out and gives light to all the citizens of heaven? What could give joy and life to the children of God more than the dear vision of this most beloved essence?

            If there is a beautiful human face on earth that can draw the eyes of many people to itself like a magnet attracts iron, and if the vision of trusted friends—parents and children, husband, wife, groom and bride—is so lovely and pleasant that it gives joy to the heart, though human beings are not love itself but only have loving tendencies toward their friends: how many hundred thousand times dearer and lovelier must the beautiful essence of God be, who is love itself, and the bright, uncovered face of our heavenly Father and of His only-begotten Son, our most-beautiful and most-friendly bridegroom Jesus Christ, as well as of the Holy Spirit in eternal life!

 

 

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