Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Luther's bedtime

Isn't the end of the day sometimes the most exciting part? Phone off, doors locked...just you and a bed. I've only been up a few hours and i'm already looking forward to it! It's an odd thing going to sleep though. People who know more than i do about it have said that when we're in our deepest sleep, when our organs and brain have shut down for the night that we're pretty much as close to death as we'd want to be... When we're asleep we can't defend ourselves, can't react to warning aches and pains.

The Psalmist says 'i lay down and i slept, but i awoke, because you sustained me.' Jesus sustains us while we sleep. But isn't Jesus the infinitely holy One who we've spent our day sinning against in thought and word and deed? How can we sleep easy knowing that what we've just spent our day doing could and should invoke holy, just wrath. As always, Martin Luther as a level headed, Biblical answer...

In the evening when you go to bed, make the sign of the holy cross and say: 'in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.' The standing or kneeling repeat the creed and say the Lord's prayer. If you choose you may also say this little prayer: 'I thank you my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously kept me this day; and i pray that you would forgive me my sins where i have done wrong and graciously keep me this night. For into your hands i commend myself, my body and my soul, and all things. Let your holy angel be with me that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen. Then go to sleep at once, and in good cheer.'

If you had to sum up Luther in one sentence it could be worse than 'it's outside of you.' We are simil iustus et peccator, and Luther calls us every night to go to Him outside of us, to go to our righteousness, our substitute, our Savior, and remember that He will keep us though the night, and to sleep well, safe in the palm of His hand.

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