As is often the case at midweek services, I preached from an outline this evening. The topic was the introduction and first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. You can read Luther’s Large Catechism on the topic right here. My sermon was a reworking of many of the same themes. But I also at one point included the following quote from Bo Giertz. It’s from The Hammer of God, and it is spoken by an elderly pastor to his young colleague:
If you do not give your heart to Jesus, you cannot be saved. And it is just as true that, if you think you are saved because you give Jesus your heart, you will not be saved. You see, it is one thing to choose Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior, to give him one’s heart and commit oneself to Him and that he now accepts one into His little flock; it is a very different thing to believe on Him as a redeemer of sinners of whom one is chief. One does not choose a redeemer for oneself, you understand, nor give one’s heart to him. The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched can, sticks his walking cane through it and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with Him. That is how it is.
As the world remembers preachers from days gone by, these words by one of the truly great preachers and teachers from the 20th century seemed a nice thought to end the day.