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Eurasia Blog Wednesday GUEST Devotion: Reminiscere

Rev. Markus Fischer, is pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leipzig, Germany, a congregation of Die Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche (Independent Evangelical-Lutheran Church, or SELK), the German partner church of the LCMS. Pastor Fischer serves a congregation of native Germans and refugees. He also travels on a monthly basis to Wittenberg to hold Divine Service there in German. For the service, he makes use of The Old Latin School.

Pastor Fischer wishes to note that: “We receive gratefully a lot of support by the LCMS in Leipzig, e g.: the sending of Pastor Dr. Christopher Ahlman and his wife, Deaconess Elizabeth Ahlman, bear in mind also the children Thomas, Matthias and Helene. The Ahlman family is taking part in our mission outreach. We are in the process of transferring our congregation from its former hidden place few people knew to a church building (St. Luke) which is serving the Volkmarsdorf vicinity of Leipzig.”

Rev. Markus Fischer on Easter Sunday 2015 as the congregation moved into the historic St. Luke's Church in the Volkmarsdorf District of Leipzig. Photo by ⓒRick Steenbock.

Rev. Markus Fischer on Easter Sunday 2015 as the congregation moved into the historic St. Luke’s Church in the Volkmarsdorf District of Leipzig. Photo by ⓒRick Steenbock.

–By Rev. Markus Fischer

“Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old” (Psalm 25:6 ESV).

When I was in confirmation class I had to learn by heart the names of the Lenten Sundays: Invocavit, Reminiscere, Oculi, Laetare, and so on. Cloudy, Latin names. In former times the services began with these words in the introit psalms. Could this be of any help today? You can easily count Lenten Sundays from one till six. Our fellow Lutheran Christians do so in America.

But I do still love these remarkable names.

Especially the second one:

Reminiscere.

Remember, LORD.

Often I do think about this. Obviously, you can remind God of His mercy. I do not seek any other God. I do not seek a God who has no mind to which I may appeal. I do not seek a God who has no heart that I may affect. Such a “God” would seem inhumane to me. Like an infallible computer, like a merciless fate. I do not believe in such a “God”.

I do believe in the Triune God. We may put ourselves in His mind whenever we face the impression that He did, in fact, forget us. In our loneliness, struck by great misfortune.

Our God does not even forget a single bird (Matthew 6:26). Even more so is He open to remember any human being. Remember, LORD. What a marvelous concept of God! This concept of God is to be found anywhere in the Holy Bible: But God remembered Noah… (Genesis 8:1). The LORD has remembered us; he will bless us… (Psalm 115:12). He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness…(Psalm 98:3).

According to this, praying to God means: reminding God of His promises. Actually, I don’t need to remind God in particular as to what He should do for me, for someone else, the church or the entire world. It is sufficient to say to Him: Remember, LORD. Reminiscere.

These were the only words the convict prayed next to Jesus at the cross. “Jesus, remember me.” No more words were needed. Such a request is good enough to bring us into heaven. Heaven is present, when the eternal God remembers us.

Lass uns Beten: Lieber Herr und Gott, der du weißt, daß wir ohne dich hilflos und verlassen sind: wir bitten dich, wache du über uns daß unser Leib vor allem Unheil behütet sei und unser Herz rein bleibe von argen Gedanken. Durch unsern Herrn Jesus Christus, deinen Sohn der mit dir und dem Heiligen Geiste lebt und regiert von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit. Amen. (Kollekt für Reminiszere Sonntag, Evangelisch-Lutherisch Kirchenagende of The Selbständige Evangelische-Lutherische Kirche; Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder, 1999, s. 66).

Let us pray: Dear Lord and God, you who knows that we are helpless and lost without you: we ask you, watch over us and so that our lives are protected from all unholiness and our hearts remain clean from evil thoughts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who with You and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns from eternity to eternity. Amen. (Collect for Reminiscere Sunday from Evangelisch-Lutherisch Kirchenagende of The Selbständige Evangelische-Lutherische Kirche; Freiburg, Basel, Wien: Herder, 1999, p. 66).

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