I was amazed at the exuberance of the worship and the joy of the children to be there. “If this one teaching stands in its purity, then Christendom will also remain pure and good, undivided and unseparated; … but where this falls, it is impossible to ward off any error or sectarian spirit” (AE 14:37 on Ps. 117). Luther uses Psalm 117 to argue for the proper teaching of justification by faith. “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” (Psalm 117 NIV) For those of you who are not reading your Bible that is the entire Psalm. It is interesting to note that, Psalm 117 is not only the shortest the Psalm in the Bible, it is also the shortest chapter in the Bible. It goes to show a lot can be conveyed with just a few words. This Psalm speaks of knowing that God loves us and His faithfulness to us will never end. While the love and faithfulness we desire can be quite fleeting in this world, we can count on the love and faithfulness of God for us to be there always. Martin Luther wrote in 1530, “Now if all heathen are to praise God, this assumes that He has become their God. If He is to be their God, then they must know Him, believe in Him…. Thus we are faced with the fact that God sent His apostles and disciples to all heathen, had the Gospel preached, gave His Holy Spirit, redeemed them from sin, death, and the devil, purified their hearts through faith, and thus accepted them as children and heirs and as His own people.” Praise the LORD!
About The Author
Rev. Bernhard Seter has been a Pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for over 42 years. He served on the Board of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for ten years and is now the Chairman of the Board of International Missions. He has been privileged to travel around the world and see the churches' mercy work in action. He is convinced it is not only what we are "compelled" to do because of Christ; it is what we have been baptized for. Christ's love compels us, constrains us, and sends us forth.