Posts Tagged ‘Catechesis’

About Holy Cross Day:

One of the earliest annual celebrations of the Church, Holy Cross Day traditionally commemorated the discovery of the original cross of Jesus on September 14, 320, in Jerusalem. The cross was found by Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. In conjunction with the dedication of a basilica at the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, the festival day was made official by order of Constantine in AD 335. A devout Christian,Helena had helped locate and authenticate many sites related to the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus throughout biblical lands. Holy Cross Day has remained popular in both Eastern and Western Christianity. Many Lutheran parishes have chosen to use “Holy Cross” as the name of their congregation. (From The Treasury of Daily Prayer, published by Concordia Publishing House)

The Jewish new year begins right now, September 13-15 this year (2015) with Rosh Hashanah, literally, “head of the year”.  It was at this time, acccording to their traditions, God finished creating the heavens and the earth, the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.  The shofar, ram’s horn is sounded at this time.  Rosh Hashanah also corresponds to the beginning of the harvest time.  The Eastern Orthodox  Churches likewise begin the Church year at this time.  Let’s face it:  this is a quite appropos tradition as the year really begins when school, college and university begins anew! Ask many a Mom or Dad! New students, matriculation, studies, that is education continues.  We also celebrate today the Holy Cross.  In school,  minds and hopefully even souls are educated in this change of season.  We give thanks to the Lord for the harvest.  Needless to say, we urbanites and suburbanites, are insensible to the rhythms of seed-time and  then harvest. But Holy Cross can remind us the Lord will bring in His Harvest by His Sacrifice upon the cross:  hearing, learning and growing in the good news of forgiveness once and for all. Jesus Christ is the grain of wheat planted, dead and alive (See  John 12:24 ) The cross is like a shepherd’s staff by which He gathers us to Himself.  (See John 12:31-33).

In the 13th century,  when St Bonaventure was in great repute, teaching theology in Paris, and attracting a general esteem and admiration by his works, St Thomas Aquinas went one day to see him, and requested him to show him what books he used for his studies.

Then Bonaventure, conducting him to his little chamber, showed him some very common books that were on his table. But Thomas gave him to understand that he desired to see the other books from which he derived so many marvelous things.

Bonaventure  then showed him a small prayer chapel, with nothing in it but a crucifix: “There, Father,” said he, “is all my other books; this is the principal one from which I draw all I teach, and all I write.”  If my tongue does not teach and preach according to Christ and His Cross, and the Law of God, then the tongue is like rudder steering the ship in the wrong direction, like a bit that does not guide the horse, like a spark that simply inflames with fire, all heat and no light.  No human being can control the tongue, James wrote.  He knew Who controls the tongue to teach whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8) and finally and fully the center of all human history:  the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah for Jew and Gentile. We need education not merely to know but to serve as we have been served.  He teaches us to pray ever in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


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The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life as more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives; the reservoir retains the water till it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself. He knows that a curse is on the man who allows his own property to degenerate. And if you think my opinion worthless, then listen to one who is wiser than I: “The fool,” said Solomon, “comes out with all his feelings at once, but the wise man subdues and restrains them.” Today there are many in the Church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare. So urgent is the charity of those through whom the streams of heavenly doctrine flow to us, that they want to pour it forth before they have been filled; they are more ready to speak than to listen, impatient to teach what they have not grasped, and full of presumption to govern others while they know not how to govern themselves.—St. Bernard of Clairvaux

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As a pastor, I need to comment on Mr. Donald Trump’s answer to an interview question by Mr. Frank Luntz about Mr. Trump’s religious faith.  Here is the salient portion, from a CNN article:

“People are so shocked when they find … out I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church,” he said.

Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions.

“I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”

Trump said that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion.

“When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.'”

First, I am glad Mr. Trump loves God and his church, that is, his congregation, but loving God and your congregation is not salvation.  The emphasis is on me, not on the Lord who is the Savior.  Basing everything on the self is as old as Adam.  Again, as old as Adam when the serpent dealt with Adam and Eve:  eat and you will be like God.   Mr. Trump sounds likes he has imported into the Christian faith his best-selling book title, The Art of the Deal.   Mr. Trump eats Holy Communion as a bargain base salvation:  eat the “little cracker”  and be saved and feeling “cleansed” is ex opere operatum, the work working the work.  The Reformers used that Latin phrase to describe the mechanical view of the sacrament without faith and repentance, and so the Lord’s forgiveness. Such a mechanical view is just an easier and nicer version of Islam’s five pillars of the faith:  Just do it. I will call it “little cracker” theology but Holy Communion is about the totality of the faith in the Lord, the blessed and holy Trinity. With our own religious reasoning, the old Adam is in the driver seat and the devil has his foot on the accelerator.   

Second, and more importantly, how did Mr. Trump come to these terrible conclusions?  My speculation is from poor Christian education, or catechesis, or a total lack of it, and I tend toward the latter conclusion.  If I were the minister welcoming Mr. Trump into the congregation, I surely would be teaching him tithing plus “proportional giving”!  And to forget about the rest of the Bible, that is most of it because it would just turn him off. This temptation has become part and parcel in congregational life as a response to decreased membership.  I uncritically bought into the slogan:  Get them involved before they join.  I found out in so many Lutheran congregations (ELCA) that people from other congregations never had an adult catechism class before joining…and most likely not in their previous church bodies as well.  This then describes the crisis of the Church in the 21st Century that has been well documented, that so many do not know the doctrines, even deriding doctrine as an impediment to church growth. Doctrine is not an impediment to church growth, but it is essential for growth in the love and knowledge of the Lord.  In a sense, I do not blame Mr. Trump for his conclusions if he has not been taught even the rudiments of Christian doctrine.  Mr. Trump is exhibiting the Old Adam: salvation by works, without grace, that is without Christ.

Third, without proper teaching of Law and Promise, Mr. Trump’s answer belies the lack of any understanding of sin and guilt.  Without the Law, then truly, per Mr. Trump, why bring God into it?  Another king, a real one, when he realized by God’s law, the depth of his sin, in committing adultery with Bathsheba, cried out and prayed,

  Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment. Psalm 51

King David avoided God and obviously did not bring “God into it”!  David had not asked God for forgiveness.  Thankfully, King David was found out and the Lord found him. Sadly, in Mr. Trump’s answer the Law has already  convicted him but the old Adam knows the art of the deal…and the dodge, I am not really guilty, I do my best.  You can only dodge the Lord’s just death sentence for so long. I was afraid and so I hid-Adam (Genesis 3).  No conviction from the Law in body and soul, that we are dead in our trespasses, and so no repentance…and finally no forgiveness, that is, no Jesus Christ, who is there from the beginning for the sinner: “Come to Me” (see Matthew 11:28.   Matthew 19:14 John 5:40  John 6:37  John 7:37 ) The Lord desires all to be saved, see 1 Timothy 2:4.

Finally, the difficulty in evangelization in our day and time is so many people, including many Christians will be satisified by Mr. Trump’s answer.  A great difficulty in evangelizing in our day is that so many people think they know what Christianity is but really don’t have a clue as does Mr. Trump.  This should challenge pastors and congregations in the Church, the Lord’s Body, to be ever be apt to teach and preach.

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Pastor Joshua Scheer in his article, “Who Are the Preachers in Your Life?”,  on Brothers of John the Steadfast asked these three interesting questions at the end of his piece:

“Who preaches to you most of the time?  What is being preached?

Who preaches to your children most of the time?  What is being preached?

What can be done to out-preach the preachers of the different gospel of this world?

The answers are in the Scriptures, especially the first lesson and especially the Epistle reading for the 6th Sunday of Easter (Year A):  Acts 17:16–31 and 1 Peter 3:13–22. 

 In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul is by himself in Athens.  Athens was one of the great cities of culture and philosophy that has influenced the Western world until our day and time. Athens was the home of Socrates and Plato and the adopted home of Aristotle, Zeno (found of Stoicism) and Epicurus. Luke tells us that Paul addressed Stoic and Epicurean philosophers.  The derivative  words “stoic” and “epicurean” are part and parcel of our vocabulary and so are the philosophies:  “stoic”, i.e., be tough;  “epicurean”, e.g. “eat, drink and be merry” are conflicting ways of life in our own day.  

We are told that Paul, upon seeing the city filled with idols, that, “his spirit was provoked within him” (verse 16). For a devout Jew (see Philippians 3:4-6),  to whom idolatry and the resultant immorality, were anathema (as it should be to all Christians as well), raised, no doubt, his rightful indignation.  Then we are told in the next verse that he “reasoned” with the Jews in the synagogue, God fearers and those in the agora,  i.e. the marketplace (vs. 17).  Further he addressed the various philosophers, and cultured onlookers,  in the place designated for such exchange of ideas, the Areopagus, literally, Mars Hill.  Notice that Paul’s provocation and indignation did not show.  He did not scream and holler,“Tear down these demonic altars”, though he knew they were demonic (see 1 Corinthians 10:20).  Instead, he reasoned with them and proclaimed the truth.  Paul’s brother Apostle, Peter, wrote to the churches in the Diaspora (1 Peter 1  ), this encouragement:   

 “…if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

 The Apostle Paul was forcefully asked to give a defense of the hope that in him (vs. 18-20).  He was prepared.  He gave his defense just as the Scripture says:  with gentleness and respect.  Paul did so but he did not water down God’s own truth.  He made pointed statements to his interlocutors that would escape our notice and for which Paul was mocked:  

  1. He proclaims God is the Creator of heaven and earth (vs. 23).  Many Greeks were so ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ that they thought matter was evil, created not by any god, but by a “demiurge”, that got “down and dirty” and so created ‘evil’ matter. Paul proclaiming God is the Creator of everything was probably an offense to his audience, but Paul proclaimed it clearly and so he was saying, the altars dedicated to gods and goddesses is nothing, they are gold and silver, things, therefore they were not gods.
  2.   The Greeks believed the gods and goddesses were dependant upon their service and devotion.  Paul turns this on end by citing an important Scriptural truth that the Lord does not need anything from mankind (see Psalm 50: 9-12) but He is the One who gives to us all in our need, our “life and breath and all things” ! (vs.  25)
  3.   “The Athenians might pride themselves on autochthonous[1]sprung from the soil of their native (Greece) (‘This belief reflects the historic fact that the Athenians were the only Greeks on the European mainland who had no tradition of their ancestors’ coming into Greece”), but this pride was ill founded.”[2] Paul proclaims that all of us are of one “nation” (some ancient texts, of one “blood”).  In other words we are all of the “hoi polloi”, no one is better nor worse!  Such a preaching can either puncture the pride or cause pride to rage.
  4.   Paul proclaimed the judgment of God and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Apostle called them to repent (vss. 30-31), that is Law and Promise.  As the doctrine of the Creator and creation (1st article of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds) was offensive, so would have been the bodily resurrection.  The audience believed in a spiritual, disembodied after life, but not the new creation. Also, that all mankind will be judged and is judged by God, deserving His temporal and eternal punishment probably did not set well with Paul’s audience.  Neither in our day and time: “no one can tell me what I should do!”

 Throughout the address, Paul is even and reasonable.  He also proclaims that God has not left Himself without a witness is His creation (cf. Romans 1:  ). He cites their poets and philosophers to substantiate his thesis.  He is not trying to win over them to his point of view, but to win them over to Jesus Christ.  He was mocked afterward (vs. 32) but some believed (vs. 34). The Word will accomplish the purpose the Lord puts into it (see Isaiah 55:10-12).

Paul the preacher out-preached the different gospels of the world by being prepared in the knowledge of Scripture.  This is the best way to give a defense of the hope that is in us:  armed with the Word of God (see  Ephesians 6:11ff ).   We are living in an internet Athens, that is just as pervasive, persuasive and perverse as was the great city of Athens in the first century.  The Athenians would not have listened to Paul if he tried to out shout them. Paul defended the Scriptures by not being defensive nor offensive.  Paul’s Address to the Areopagus still runs contrary in our agora of god and ideologies.  This list parallels the list above: 

  1. God is Creator, not evolution.  We are made, not self-made.  There is intelligent design that could not happen by chance.  The 1st Article  of the Creed is still offensive.
  2. God needs me to serve him, all my sacrifices. No, He does not, He gives to us all in our need. We think a worship service is something we offer to God, no!  God  who gives us His gifts of faith, hope and love, within His Service, His Word, that is, “For us and our salvation He came down from heaven” and “Broken and shed FOR YOU”.
  3. We Americans think we sprung up out of the soil of this land, a superior people.  ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (cf. Romans 3:22-24  ), therefore, the Lord has poured forth His salvation upon “all flesh” (cf. Luke 3:6).
  4. So many Christians have a judgment-less Gospel, that is preaching and teaching of the Gospel without the Law’s just diagnosis of our condition.  “Grandma is looking down on us from heaven” is common statement at funerals.  The Apostle’s Creed, based upon the Scripture, confesses the “resurrection of the body” to our likewise ‘spiritual’ afterlife.

 So many people think that between  Bible times and ‘our’ times there is a yawning abyss because so much has changed.  Yes, technology has changed but not fallen human nature. What was preached and reaching many folks in Athens is simply paraded day in our agora, television, radio and the internet. The second list is the current version of the first lesson preached nowadays. The many altars to our American idols is always an appeal to the self.  The doctrines of evolution, ego-centric philosophies, egoism are preached daily to make us happy.  This preaching of a gospel, which is not good news, oozes every TV commercial. And a lot of this narcissistic preaching is under the guise of Christianity, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, such as , “prosperity gospel” preaching. We may be happy but we are always looking over our shoulders and there is little joy. Or there is such anger directed at the filth in our society and country, and justifiably so, that discourse is difficult at best. The medium massages the mind to be insensible to truth and thinking things through. 

We cannot out yell the cultural preachers yet we can reason, as the Apostle did. We cannot out-tech the world and the agora either. We simply cannot compete nor should we!  The Gospel, that cannot be bought, the Gospel that is we have been bought for a price, not with silver or gold, by Jesus’ precious blood (1 Corinthians 7:23;1 Peter 1:17-19) , opens up the entire of Scripture that we might reason in the preaching and teaching of the Church. In a sound-bite world, the Lord’s perspective of eternity is ours in Christ.  Short-term fixes, that is, gimmicks and techniques won’t do.  As it is written, I would rather have five words of wisdom than a thousand words in a tongue (1 Corinthians 14:19).  Paul was prepared as Peter counseled his churches to be prepared as we revere Christ as holy  in our hearts.

 When I was in college, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod was in schism over Biblical interpretation.  I was  a liberal in Biblical interpretation.  I was visiting my extended family in Minnesota and with my Aunt Bertha, “Aunt Birdie”, I  had made fun of  the Missouri Synod.  My Aunt had been a Mennonite and became Lutheran (WELS) when she married. In one of the few times she was stern with me said, “Mark, I always believed in Christ but when I became a Lutheran I knew why.”  What preaches?  Solid Confessional catechesis, that is preaching and teaching of Law and Gospel, properly distinguished.  The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod knows about teaching and preaching.  The Scriptures’ compendium is the Small and Large Catechisms.  Catechesis cannot be done short term, but only long term: it is learning for Life.  Fancying up worship services or making them more ‘palpable’ won’t do either.  We are just spinning our wheels. The small still voice of the Lord in His Word is greater than the thunder and lightening of our technological world. We need only to be still and be stilled (see Exodus 14:14,Psalm 46:10,Psalm 131:2) for that is the beginning of learning. The Lord will be heard.

     “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven                                      and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55)

 [1] autochthonous: adjective (of an inhabitant of a place) indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists.


[2] The Book of Acts, commentary by F. F. Bruce, pages 357-358 (first published 1954)


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New Testament Reading for Today:  Hebrews 13: 1-21

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Introduction:  The New Testament reading is the pastor’s encouragement to the Church in times of persecutions from without and within.  The meditation below is by Pastor Scott Murray (Pastor, Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston, TX) from his book  A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditation for Each Day of the Church Year (I am not paid by Pr. Murray to so advertise but gladly do so!)  The meditation is on the verses cited above.


We presume that something is better than nothing. This truism is not always true. It is better to be without a leader than to have one who teaches us into hell. If we are to imitate the faith of those who lead us, we need someone leading us who has sound teaching, someone who is faithful to Christ the Word and His Holy Scripture. Without that faithful instruction, we are being led into misbelief, which is the worst vice. It is the worst evil, because it has such horrible results. We are all sinful, even and especially our Church leaders. If we wait until the Church leader arrives who has no fleshly weaknesses or spiritual peccadilloes, we will be waiting forever. Such a person ministered visibly only once among men.

So what should we look for from leaders? The faith. We need them to teach us Christ, His death, His life, His sacrifice for our sins—all that He has done “for us men and for our salvation.” We should imitate the faith that leaders teach. The substance of what is taught, of what is to be believed, should be the outcome of their lives. Like us, our leaders are imperfect clay pots. The excellence of what is preached should commend them to us. Let’s expect neither more nor less.

“When should we obey an evil leader? What kind of evil do we mean here? If he isevil in regard to faith, flee and avoid him. Not just if he is a man, but even if he is an angel from heaven. But if his life is evil, do not pry. This case I am not arguing from my own opinion, but from Holy Scripture. Hear Christ say, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat’ (Matthew 23:2). Having previously spoken many fearful things concerning them, Christ says, ‘Practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice’ (Matthew 23:3). They have the dignity of office but have an unclean life. Pay attention not to their life but to their words. As regards their character, no one would be harmed by it. Why? Both because their characters are manifest to all, and also because, although they might be ten thousand times as evil, they will never teach what is evil. But in regard to the faith, the evil is not apparent to all, and the leader with a wicked faith will not decline to teach it” (John Chrysostom, Homilies on Hebrews, 34.1).

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

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In the Daily Lectionary the Epistle reading for today (January 29) is the beginning of 2 Timothy, 1: 1-18. Selections from 2 Timothy will continue for the next 3 days: 2 Timothy 2: 1—26; 2 Timothy 3: 1—17 and then on 1 February, 2 Timothy 4: 1—18.

I concentrate on verse 5:
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

When asked the question, Why are you a Lutheran, one of the answers is my upbringing, as it was for Paul’s brother pastor, Timothy. Paul reminds Timothy of his education and formation in the faith delivered to the saints once and for all through Timothy’s mother and grandmother. Paul reminds him to encourage him. We all need these reminders for our encouragement to fulfill our vocations. In prison, Paul remembers Timothy with tears of joy and prayer for him (verses 3-5a), but also for Lois and Eunice.

Professor Timothy Oden in his commentary, Interpretation: First and Second Timothy and Titus, comments on the purpose of this “transmission of apostolic faith” in Timothy’s ministry and vocation as a pastor:

“The intergenerational transmission of apostolic faith was of urgent concern to Paul. That is what he seemed to be most seriously pondering in prison. He was constantly reminded of Timothy’s sincere faith (v. 5), untainted by hypocrisy, unmixed by corrupted motives—the same faith that dwelt first in the grandmother Lois and the mother Eunice and then in the son. To these two women we rightly credit the transmission of the faith to Timothy, the precondition of his transmission of the faith to countless others. In Timothy we have a young man from a transitional, cross-cultural family charged with transmitting the faith intergenerationally.”

A good solid upbringing, catechesis in the Faith, is for bringing the faith to “countless others”. Fathers and mothers are their child’s first “bishop and bishopess”, as Luther said it.

In this verse 5 the imprisoned Apostle mentions faith directly and indirectly three times in this one sentence. The Faith is not only apprehended intellectually but Faith “dwelt” first in Timothy’s grandmother and then his mother and now it dwells in Timothy. Faith holds tight the promises of God fulfilled in Jesus Christ for us all, His grace, mercy and peace for sinners (verse 2). Paul describes the abiding Faith in Christ Jesus as “sincere” but a more literal reading of the Greek word is that it is “unfeigned”, not fake. Oden calls this the “quiet transmission”:

When preaching asks how Christian mission is to be revitalized today, nothing is more central to the answer than being a good parent. We see a model of parenting embodied in the small-scale, inconspicuous transition from Lois to Eunice to Timothy. That such traditioning can occur within a highly pluralistic, syncretistic, rapidly changing environment is clear from this account. They did it. Faith can be passed on through families. Religious instruction in the family unit is crucial to the transmission of the Christian tradition.

Too much of Christianity is television and show and shallow emotionalism and wanting to accommodate to the fads and fashions of the world. The unfeigned faith can happen in the Church in the home. Just think that Christian faith was educated in the Roman Empire without a lick of support from the culture and society.  I think Professor Oden’s language is a little sterile but he is saying what the text teaches and his conclusion is startling in this noisy world and worldliness inthe sentence I emphasized. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians in his first letter, God gives the growth. Growth takes time, it takes the Lord’s time. How did Timothy grow in the Faith in Jesus Christ? Answer: the Scriptures, the Word of God:

But as for you ,continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be  complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3)

The Holy Spirit teaches and His lesson plan is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and His TextBook the Bible. We need home-church schooling more than ever. 

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Visit, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, making them a haven of blessing and of peace. Strengthen the bonds of love and faithfulness between all married couples, leading us all to honor this institution that You have established for our good. Give courage and strength to all Christian parents, that they may faithfully teach their children to know the voice of the Good Shepherd and to trust in Him alone for all good things. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.


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