Luther Said it Too

I’ve maintained for some time now that if Lutherans would only plug into our Catechism (Small and Large) then we’d not feel a need to borrow from sources that are not so scripturally-based. Case in point: ponder these words from the Large Catechism on the Lord’s Prayer, Seventh Petition (Deliver us from evil). This is the translation from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, found on p. 422.

You see again how God wishes for us to pray to Him also for all the things that affect our bodily interests, so that we seek and expect help nowhere else except in Him. But He has put this matter last. For if we are to be preserved and delivered from all evil, God’s name must first be hallowed in us, His kingdom must be with us, and His will must be done. After that He will finally preserve us from sin and shame, and, besides, from everything that may hurt or harm us.

When someone says, “I’m not going to attend church or otherwise bother to conform my life to God’s will, because I don’t see where He has ever done me any good,” it’s the height of foolishness. Worse yet, someone may say, “I see that God has allowed all of these evils to befall me, and now you suggest that I should trust in Him?” That puts the cart before the horse.

The very order of petitions in the Lord’s Prayer teaches us what must come first: that God’s name should be hallowed, His kingdom come, and His will be done — all among us, personally. Daily bread (i.e. the needs of life on earth), forgiveness of sins, protection in temptation and deliverance from evil all come later in importance. Expecting God to invert the order is like expecting the sheriff in the next county over to respond to your 911 call. God will hear your prayer when you acknowledge that He is truly your Father by both creation and redemption.

3 thoughts on “Luther Said it Too

  1. Have you ever pondered that “give us this day or daily bread” refers to the Sacrament of the Altar? The Lord knows we need physical things, as with the sparrows and flowers, and He suggest that we seek out Him first and all those other things will be added to us. Just some food or spiritual food for thought.

  2. Yes, we just mulled that a little at our last winkel in Hood River. We read from the volume of Luther’s devotional writings (vol. 42?) on the Fourth Petition, and I think he made that connection too.

    BTW (to all), Mary’s pointed out in a private email that one might misunderstand my re-statement of the Large Catechism to say that we are able to hallow God’s name, etc. without receiving the forgiveness of sins. Misunderstanding is an occupational hazard, I think. The right way to understand my words is to read them as an echo of Luther’s words. I find it fascinating that he sees two main divisions in the Lord’s Prayer, reminiscent of the two tables in the Ten Commandments. He’s right.

    The Lord be with you, Kent.

  3. Of course he did, as probably the Fathers before him. It does’nt amaze me that there really is nothing that is new and/or correct theologically. We need to respect the Fourth Commandment and humble oursleves that there is nothing new we can add, as long as we believe in our Fathers, as long as what that have said is supported by the Word of God. This thought is supported by the Word of God. We do not need to invent new “doctrines” just for the sake of wanting to be someone who is “wiser” than our Wise Forefathers. I encourage you to ask the ELS leadership, NT prof at the Seminary, about his view on a certain Scripture passage, that our forefathers in Christ stated could not be used as “Sede Doctrinae” were wrong, and that he was the “one” that understood that passage and how it allowed women to be in the “Office of the Ministy”.

    In His Peace…He is Peace!

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