The Word Remains

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As an editor, one of my big complaints about writing today is that . . . it stinks. People don’t care about grammar. Their sentences run on and on and on and on.

And on.

They stick, not to two or three key points, but attempt to cram 18 ideas into a 350-word piece. They write for themselves and not for the edification or understanding of the reader.

But not Wilhelm Lohe.

Not the man whose writings on the Church Year and the life of the Christian comprise The Word Remains.

His writing style

In this translated piece published by Emmanuel Press, Lohe writes for the person in the pew, the one worn down by work and life, by sin and fear, by death and general exhaustion.

And maybe even presidential elections.

That’s the sign of a good writer, after all: one who can share truth in an understandable way regardless of time or circumstances.

He brings the comfort of Christmas, of Epiphany, of the Reformation — all Christ, of course — to life.

He also touches briefly on a variety of other topics that affect the person holding the book both then and today, outlining everything from worship to work in short, clear blurbs.

This combination of longer Church Year pieces and succinct Christian life issues offers a comforting read . . . and not just once or quickly.

The introduction to The Word Remains hints at this before you’ve even gotten to the meat of the book. And after you turn the last page, you’ll realize the it was right.

There are two kinds of reading: lingering reading and consuming reading. . . . The former, the careful and contemplative reading, which satisfies itself in just a few pages per day, is what we ought to take up again, apply and practice. This is how we get back to Wilhelm Lohe, and this is how his writings should be read.

As you turn the pages of Lohe’s work, renewed by his encouraging words that return you again and again to Christ and His mercy, you’ll linger, not because the introduction tells you to, but because you can’t help but be comforted by doing so.

 

Clingy Faith

Lohe offered more than just his writing to the 19th-century church: his work with deaconesses and motherhouses, his insight on worship and mission.

And in The Word Remains, he gives us still more today.

Ever the pastor, he encourages us to “Trust His word. Do not stray from it. All else may be lost to you; all else may go as it will. His promise will never fail you.”

He reminds us that “The Word remains to the end. Let us look to the Word, be united in the Word!”

He heartens us that “God’s Word is revealed faithfulness and mercy.”

On every page, in every paragraph, with every sentence, Lohe–“briefly and reverently” as he would say–sets aside all our worries and sadnesses and stresses. And in their place, he comforts with the words and truths of the Triune God who overflows with compassion and mercy.

 

The Word Remains . . . and hopefully so will Lohe

It’s not a long read–only 140 pages–but it is one you’ll peruse again and again as sin, death and the devil throw their worst your way.

You won’t pick it up again just because the writing is good or because your needs are at the forefront.

You’ll underline and bookmark pages because Lohe’s purpose and writing are clear throughout, reminding you with every word that “All the saints, whom the Lord wins and eternally saves, win and are won; and for us also, after hard tribulations, comes the joy of eternal success. Therefore let us not grow weary!”

As a Christmas present or a treat-yourself read, allow yourself to, as the introduction says, read it  “lingeringly and with listening hearts,” because as Lohe knew and as you do too, The Word Remains.

 

 

{Read more about the book here: The Word Remains. And order some Christmas cards too while you’re at it!}

 

 

 

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