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Cheerful with Reverence

If it is true that God speaks with us in the Holy Scriptures, either he must be a rascal who does not do what he says or he must be the highest majesty who, when he opens his mouth, does three times as much as he promises. With one word he created the whole world, Genesis 1. It is therefore established that God speaks, and so one will learn to esteem his word highly. David recognized and believed this, and so he wrote, ‘God has spoken to me in his sanctuary’ [Ps. 60:6]. He had to pay for this, too, and that is why God put him to such severe trials, involving murder, adultery, exile, etc. So David wrote in a psalm, ‘Serve the Lord with fear, and exult with trembling’ [Ps. 2:11]. Let somebody bring this into harmony for me: exult and fear! My son Hans can do it in relation to me, but I can’t do it in relation to God. When I’m writing or doing something else, my Hans sings a little tune for me. If he becomes too noisy and I rebuke him a little for it, he continues to sing but does itmore privately and with a certain awe and uneasiness. This is what God wishes: that we be always cheerful, but with reverence.

—Martin Luther, Tabletalk

Posted on Monday, January 02, 2012 by Pastor Jerry Owen