This Month’s Featured Historical Writer is: Martin Luther… Martin Luther had 5 priorities: Scripture, Savoring His Savior, Eternal Souls, Satan, & Society.
1. The Supreme Authority of Scripture
2. The Sweetness of His Savior
3. The Significance of His Parishioner’s Souls
4. The Battle Between Sin & Satan
5. To Be in The Forefront of The Most Pressing Issues of Society.
“If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”
Attributed to Martin Luther (In somewhat modified form from a German translation.)
The following can be read in small chunks and will be on line for the rest of the month – Thanks Bruce
Martin Luther on Family Worship
The Small Catechism
S C III 5 (Small Catechism, Part III, paragraph 5)
by Martin Luther
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household. Daily Prayers How the head of the family should teach his household to pray morning and evening Morning Prayer.
1] In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
2] Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:
I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil, that all my doings and life may please Thee. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.
3] Then go to your work with joy, singing a hymn, as the Ten Commandments, or what your devotion may suggest.
4] In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say: In the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
5] Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:
I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen. Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully. ———-
6] HOW THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY – Should Teach His Household to Ask a Blessing and Return Thanks. Asking a Blessing The children and servants shall go to the table with folded hands and reverently, and say:
The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord; and Thou givest them their meat in due season; Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
To satisfy the desire means that all animals receive so much to eat that they are on this account joyful and of good cheer; for care and avarice hinder such satisfaction. Then the Lord’s Prayer, and the prayer here following:
Lord God, Heavenly Father, bless us and these Thy gifts, which we take from Thy bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. Returning Thanks. Likewise also after the meal they shall reverently and with folded hands say:
O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. He giveth food to all flesh; He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry. He delighteth not in the strength of the horse; He taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy. Then the Lord’s Prayer and the prayer here following:
We thank Thee, Lord God, Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for all Thy benefits, who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
Table of Duties Certain passages of scripture for various holy orders and positions, admonishing them about their duties and responsibilities For Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers. (Most may want to go directly to Families)
A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; not a novice; holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 1 Tim. 3:2ff ;Titus 1:6.
What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors. Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel. 1 Cor. 9:14. Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Gal. 6:6. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the Word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn; and the laborer is worthy of his reward. 1 Tim. 5:17-18. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you. Heb. 13:17.]
Concerning Civil Government. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For the power which exists anywhere is ordained of God. Whosoever resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For he heareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Rom. 13:1-4.
What Subjects Owe to the Magistrates. Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s. Matt. 22:21. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, etc. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom, to whom custom; fear, to whom fear; honor, to whom honor. Rom. 13:1,5ff. I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 1 Tim. 2:1f Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, etc. Titus 3:1. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors as unto them that are sent by Him, etc. 1 Pet. 2:13f ]
For Husbands. Ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered. 1 Pet. 3:7. And be not bitter against them. Col. 3:9.
For Wives. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord, even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord; whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 1 Pet. 3:6; Eph. 5:22.
For Parents. Ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Eph. 6:4.
For Children. Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Eph. 6:1-3.
For Hired Laborers. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Eph. 6:5ff ; Col. 3:22.
For Masters and Mistresses. Ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him. Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1. For Young
Persons in General. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time. 1 Pet. 5:5-6. For
Widows. She that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 1 Tim. 5:5-6.
For All in Common. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Herein are comprehended all the commandments. Rom. 13:8ff And persevere in prayer for all men. 1 Tim. 2:1-2. “Let each his lesson learn with care, And all the household well shall fare.”
Christian Questions with Their Answers Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament [The “Christian Questions with Their Answers,” designating Luther as the author, first appeared in an edition of the Small Catechism in 1551, five years after Luther’s death]. After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:
- Do you believe that you are a sinner? Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.
- How do you know this? From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.
- Are you sorry for your sins? Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
- What have you deserved from God because of your sins? His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21,23.
- Do you hope to be saved? Yes, that is my hope.
- In whom then do you trust? In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.
- Who is Christ? The Son of God, true God and man.
- How many Gods are there? Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him? He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
- Did the Father also die for you? He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.
- How do you know this? From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
SC III 5 (Small Catechism, Part III, paragraph 5)