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Today is the feast day of St. Robert Barnes. Barnes was born in the 1490s and was a devout Christian in England. He was blessed to hear and read the teaching of the Gospel as taught by Dr. Martin Luther. Barnes spent time in Germany, being himself a house guest of the Luther's at the Black Cloister. Barnes taught the truth of the Gospel in England until he was martyred for the faith by Henry VIII in 1540. Luther spoke of the comfort of Barne's martyrdom saying, "Let us praise and thank God! This is a blessed time for the elect saints of Christ and an unfortunate, grievous time for the devil, for blasphemers, and enemies, and it is going to get even worse, Amen." (Treasury of Daily Prayer 575). Barnes confessed the faith in his life, and in his death confessed the truth that Jesus is our merciful Savior who rescues us sinners by His death and resurrection.
Despised and scorned, they sojourned here;
But now, how glorious they appear!
Those martyrs stand,
A priestly band,
God's throne forever near.
On earth they wept through bitte years;
Now God has wiped away their tears,
Transformed their strife
To heav'nly life,
And freed them from their fears.
They now enjoy the Sabbath rest,
The heavenly banquet of the blest;
The Lamb, their Lord,
At festive board,
Himself is host and guest. (Behold a Host Arrayed in White LSB 676).
Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the peaceful voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I forgive you. I love you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.