Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Big Ten

Moses with the Ten Commandments 
byRembrandt (1659)

We continue our exploration of Martin Luther's Small Catechism this Sunday. Written in 1529, Luther's explanations to the chief parts of the Christian faith are still timely and can serve to provide us with a framework and reference for our discussion. We'll dwell in Luther's treatment of the Ten Commandments.

As I was preparing for class this week, I referenced a book by Timothy J. Wengert entitled Martin Luther's Catechisms: Forming the Faith. Certainly faith formation is essential to our continued growth in grace and the maturing of our discipleship. Wengert notes that already in 1522 Martin Luther produced his Betbüchlein (Personal Prayer Book).  Here is an excerpt from Luther's forward:
Three things people must know in order to be saved. First, they must  know what to do and what to leave undone. Second, when they realize that they cannot measure us to what they should do or leave undone, they need to know where to go to find the strength they require. Third, they must know how to seek and obtain their strength. It is just like a sick person who first has to determine the nature of that sickness, then find out what to do or to leave undone, After that he has to know where to get the medicine which will help him do or leave undine what is right for a healthy person. Third, he has to desire to search for this medicine and to obtain it or have it brought to him. Thus, the commandments teach human beings to recognize their sickness.  . . . The Creed will teach and show them where to find the medicine--grace--which will help them become devout and keep the commandments. The Creed points them to God and his mercy, given and made plain in to them in Christ. Finally, the Lord's Prayer teaches all this namely, through the fulfillment of God's commandments [by faith] everything will be given them. (LW 43:13-14, with slight changes)
In the days ahead, take some time to read the both Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. What do you see there?  What is similar? What is different? What don't you see there?

The second part of the All Souls Deuteronomy, containing the Decalogue

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Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 12, 2014

Prayer of the Day
Lord of the feast, you have prepared a table before all peoples 
and poured out your life with abundance. 
Call us again to your banquet. 
Strengthen us by what is honorable, just, and pure, 
and transform us into a people of righteousness and peace, 
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen

Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

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