Sunday, March 02, 2008

Some Good Old Fashioned Writing

We've been studying the Ten Commandments going through Luther's Large Catechism in Bible Class the past few months. In regards to the 3rd Commandment ("You shall sanctify the holy day"), Luther wrote thusly:

96] Therefore not only those sin against this commandment who grossly misuse and desecrate the holy day, as those who on account of their greed or frivolity neglect to hear God's Word or lie in taverns and are dead drunk like swine; but also that other crowd, who listen to God's Word as to any other trifle, and only from custom come to preaching, and go away again, and at the end of the year know as little of it as at the beginning. 97] For hitherto the opinion prevailed that you had properly hallowed Sunday when you had heard a mass or the Gospel read; but no one cared for God's Word, as also no one taught it. Now, while we have God's Word, we nevertheless do not correct the abuse; we suffer ourselves to be preached to and admonished, but we listen without seriousness and care."

Ouch. How many times have I been guilty of that last sentence?

Sometimes a person can't help it, but to consistently and without sound reason leave church without going to some study of scripture seems to fall in to this category. Especially if one is rushing off to something "funner" to fill the rest of their Sunday. Or whatever day one worships.

Also, in the Tappert edition of the Book Of Concord, the word 'trifle' above is translated 'entertainment'. I can't help but think of all the rock-band church services out there.

At any rate, despite it being a 16th Century collection of writings, the Lutheran Confessions are far from irrelevant and have plenty to say to our present day predicaments.

We've been blessed to have both Tappert and the newer Concordia edition, and must say I like them both. All Lutheran homes should have one. And use it.


  1. Well, we all struggle with bouts of terrible concentration during sermons. Thankfully, I can usually expect myself to be able to listen well the next week or even in the midweek service. I think its OK if all I can manage is a prayer of repentance for being weighed down by sin (or whatever) and a prayer of gratitude that God's grace still covers me. In a way, it's a picture of perfect grace.

    Equally perplexing is the excuse "I hear this everyday at school, Mom".

  2. TK!

    Equally perplexing is the excuse "I hear this everyday at school, Mom".

    As if one could ever hear enough. Maybe it's an age thing- the older I get, the more I see myself as I really am, and the more I need to hear the Gospel/receive absolution and communion.

  3. I think it definitely is an age thing. At 12-18 years old, you apparently do often think that you can get enough of the Gospel and of absolution. I think this is the dilemma of many parents who home-school or send their kids to Christian day school. But as you age and become painfully aware of the fact that you will never achieve perfection on this earth, you are more open to learning and receiving.

  4. TK!

    Yep. And as you age the shine and glitter that this world has to offer becomes tarnished. You hopefully realize you're really nothing more than a pilgrim trying to make his way through it all.