Lenten Catechesis V 2012 – Confession

Psalm 132 (antiphon: v. 13)
Office Hymn:  426 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
OT: 2 Sam 11:2-5,14-17,26-12:7,13-14
Ep: James 5:13-20
Gospel: Jn 20:19-23
Catechetical Hymn: 610 Lord Jesus, Think On Me

Summary: Confession is perhaps the simplest of the six chief parts of our faith. One, we confess and two, we are absolved. Yet, it is still a mystery. God reconciles us to Himself by the shedding of the blood of His very Son. Indeed, the Holy Trinity is responsible for confession from start to finish. The Spirit grants faith to trust the Word, the Word works contrition and repentance, Christ’s does the work of atoning, and the Word of Absolution forgives.

In the Lutheranism of today, individual confession between penitent and pastor has all but disappeared, despite nearly 500 years of catechesis from Luther teaching young and old to receive this gift. Why? Is the general confession before the Divine Service a suitable replacement? Is it the fear of being too Roman Catholic? Is it pride? Is it fear? Or is through lack of knowledge or experience? In most cases, it is a little bit of each.

Despite our disuse, personal, private, or individual confession and absolution is a tremendous blessing for the Christian. It is all about God calling you to repentance and God forgiving you. It is all about receiving salvation and life. It is all about Christ’s blood absolving you again of every sin. Confession is all about Jesus forgiving you.

Lenten Catechesis II 2012 – The Creed

Summary: Last week we learned what God expects of us and what we are not to do. We learned how these commands remain God’s perfect and pure will, despite being far above our ability as weak people to accomplish. This week, we learn from the Creed not just who God is but how He equips us to do what He commands. The Creed describes His essence, will, activity, and work. “What kind of person is God?” “What does He do?” The Holy Trinity works to not only give and preserve your life, but to redeem you and sanctify you. Listen to the audio for more.

Can Lutheran Moms be Tiger Moms?

Deaconess Pam Nielson offers an necessary corrective to the whole “tiger mom” craze. We often lament the absence of children in the midst of our church fellowship. Dcs. Nielson puts her finger on one of the reasons why.

If you are a parent, your children are your vocation and your most important calling. God sets the standard for you: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). To raise your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is to raise children with God’s Word, in His Church, where His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation are given to all who believe. These are the “first things” for Christian moms, dads and children.

In sharp contrast, Ms. Chua and many others have determined quite a different standard or set of “first things” in raising their children. We’re familiar with them because we have been tempted to make them primary in our homes too: good grades, first place, social standing, perfect performances and winning championships. These are the world’s marks of success, but they are not God’s. In our efforts to achieve these worldly standards, sometimes the “first thing” of bringing our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord becomes a second, third or fourth thing.

How? When we frequently skip church and Sunday School for team practice or tournaments. When we complain that Pastor’s assignments and requirements for confirmation are too much, even as we pay for extra tutoring in math for our child. When we disdain helping our children with learning Bible verses and the catechism while spending long hours creating the perfect science project.

via The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – The Lutheran Witness.