May God bless your observance of this Ash Wednesday

One might wonder why Christians still observe the season of Lent, with its various traditions and rites in this age of casual informality and frequent irreverence. Lutherans have provided an answer to this question in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession article XV, 38-39. This answer also explains why Lutherans have continued using the ancient liturgy. Though such things are not strictly required by God’s Word, notice the strife that innovations of worship and seasonal observances bring to the Church! Likewise, note the great teaching value of such traditions for instructing worshippers in the faith!

(The “opponents” mentioned here are the servants of the Roman pope who were accusing Lutherans in 1530 of forsaking the Christian faith.)

Furthermore, we gladly keep the ancient traditions set up in the church because they are useful and promote tranquility, and we interpret them in the best possible way, by excluding the opinion that they justify. But our enemies falsely charge that we abolish good ordinances and church discipline. We can claim that the public liturgy in the church is more dignified among us than among the opponents. If anyone would look at it in the right way, we keep the ancient canons better than the opponents.

May the readers of this blog all have the opportunity to hear the salutary preaching of our Lord’s cross this season, whether by sermon or by liturgy, to your great blessing!

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