"With Thee, Lord, I am now united; I live in Thee and Thou in me. No sorrow fills my soul, delighted. It finds its only joy in Thee. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood. Be for my soul the highest good!
"Who can condemn me now? For surely the Lord is nigh, who justifies. No hell I fear, and thus securely. With Jesus I to heaven rise. Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood. Be for my soul the highest good!"
Mystics seek to unite themselves with God, often through their own efforts, perhaps in meditation, prayer, and fasting. While such practices are spiritually helpful, and these souls rightly thirst for God, such human efforts are in vain. We cannot "raise" ourselves from our sinful, fallen state to the presence of God. Apart from Christ Jesus, we are "dead in our trespasses" (Ephesians 2:5b). We cannot rise to God; He came down to us.
Dead in sin, we could not rise, but God reached down in mercy and "when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:5). Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, was born among us and took onto Himself the burden of our sin and guilt, suffering the penalty of death in our place. There is no mysticism involved, only the grace of God, His undeserved love for sinners. God reached out through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save us. We are united to Jesus in Baptism, buried with Him and raised to new life. Alive in Christ and one with Him, we are nourished by the wondrous mystery that is Jesus' presence in His body and blood in the Lord's Supper.
"With Thee, Lord, I am now united; I live in Thee and Thou in me." Our hymn echoes Jesus' words, "Abide in Me, and I in you" (John 15:4a). Thirsting for God, we find our joy in the gift of Jesus' presence in His holy Supper, praying that His body and blood would be for our souls "the highest good"! Our hymn asks, "Who can condemn me now?" Scripture asks the same question and provides the answer: "It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the One who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us" (Romans 8:33b-34).
Jesus, the Lord with whom we are united in Baptism, has been raised to reign at God's right hand, and we have been raised with Him. "With Jesus I to heaven rise." What no mystic could achieve by human effort, God has done. He reached down to us, and by His grace saved us through faith in Christ. God "raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:6). In a wondrous miracle, we are united with our Savior. With delight we rejoice, "I live in Thee and Thou in me!"
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we give You praise and thanks for the gift of Your body and blood in Your holy Supper. You are for us the highest good! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Thy Body Given for Me, O Savior," which is found on page 619 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Would you say you live a "victorious" life as a Christian?
2. How do you deal with inner thoughts that condemn you?
3. What is it about Baptism that encourages and sustains you in your faith?