Christ and The Church Suffer and Die with Us

When we feel pain, when we suffer, when we die, let us turn to this, firmly believing and certain that it is not we alone, but Christ and the church who are in pain and are suffering and dying with us. Christ does not want us to be alone on the road of death, from which all men shrink. Indeed, we set out upon the road of suffering and death accompanied by the entire church. Actually, the church bears it more bravely than we do. Thus we can truthfully apply to ourselves the words Elisha spoke to his fearful servants, “Fear not, for those who are with us are more numerous than those with them. And Elisha prayed and said, ‘Lord, open the eyes of the young man that he may see.’ And the Lord opened his eyes and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha” [2 Kings 6:16–17].

All that remains for us now is to pray that our eyes, that is, the eyes of our faith, may be opened that we may see the church around us. Then there will be nothing for us to fear, as is also said in Psalm 125:2, “As mountains are round about it, so the Lord is round about his people, from this time forth and forever.” Amen.

Martin Luther, “Fourteen Consolations”, Luther’s Works, Volume 42, page 163

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