Digging Deeper

Unearthing the surpassing riches of Christ

Death and Life

“We say ‘In the midst of life, we die.’ Whereas, God says, ‘No, in the midst of death we live.’”

Martin Luther, quoted in Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought by Stephen J. Nichols (page 189-190).  Nichol’s book wonderful little account of Luther’s life and many contributions to the church in the Reformation.  I highly recommend it, even for the person casually interested in Luther.

Or as the Bible says,

"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:51-57, ESV)

Luther ever wrote a hymn using his little quote, In the Midst of Life Behold

In the midst of life, behold
Death has girt us round.
Whom for help then shall we pray,
Where shall grace be found?
In Thee, O Lord, alone!
We rue the evil we have done,
That Thy wrath on us hath drawn.
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Leave us not to sink beneath
These dark pains of bitter death;
Kyrie eleison!

In the midst of death the jaws
Of hell against us gape.
Who from peril dire as this
Openeth us escape?
‘Tis Thou, O Lord, alone!
Our bitter suffering and our sin
Pity from Thy mercy win,
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Let not dread our souls o’erwhelm
Of the dark and burning realm,
Kyrie Eleison!

In the midst of hell would Sin
Drive us to despair;
Whither shall we flee away?
Where is refuge, where?
With Thee, Lord Christ, alone!
For Thou hast shed Thy precious blood,
All our sins Thou makest good,
Holy Lord and God!
Strong and Holy God!
Merciful and Holy Saviour!
Eternal God!
Leave us not to fall in death
From the hope of Thy true Faith,
Kyrie Eleison!

Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year, 1861


March 15, 2012 - Posted by | Death, Eternal Perspective, Martin Luther, Salvation


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