Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Gem from the Large Catechism

It is therefore, above all things, necessary to train up and accustom young people to hold high in their estimation this commandment and others, and if they transgress, they should immediately be checked, the commandment should be presented to them, and continually be impressed, in order that they may be reared up, not only by chastisement, but also in fear and reverence to God.

The second commandment directs the conduct of "our lips and tongues toward God". The greatest abuse which this commandment censures is that of

spiritual matters which concern the conscience, when false preachers arise and deliver their lying errors for the Word of God.

Recently I was impressed by an essay which spoke about the problems that have sprung forth out of marriages between spouses of differing faiths. Have pastors and parents neglected their duty to "train up young people to hold this commandment in high estimation", when such spiritual matters are treated with indifference as a man and a woman of differing confessions unite in one flesh?

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Gem from the Large Catechism

For this reason, no person should undertake to receive or to present any thing, unless it be commanded of God, that it be acknowledged as his gift, and thanks returned to him for it, as this commandment requires. These media, therefore, for the reception of benefits through the creatures, are not to be rejected; nor should other ways and means than those which God has commanded, be sought through presumption; for this is not receiving from God, but seeking from one's self.

The media through which God delivers His gifts are God's own creatures; they are the means by which God delivers every good thing to us. (This brings to mind a joke about a fellow who sat on a roof top during a flood, rejecting the aid of a boat, a helicopter, and something else as he waited for "divine intervention" to rescue him. On second thought, maybe this was someone's sermon illustration?)

And on the flip side, good things should not be sought except through such means as God has provided and where God has directed and commanded us to look for them. God is the giver of every good thing. If we look for good things elsewhere, we fall into the same trap that Adam and Eve fell into in the Garden of Eden.