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Pastor's Corner

Food for thought

In the words of Martin Luther

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The following devotion is from Luther’s Breviary A Meditation for each Day of the year. The book is comprised of various collections of Luther’s quotations (often called “Little treasury”) that has been handed down to us. In the foreword it says “These little meditations written by the great Reformer link theology with social responsibility, and spiritual depth with reforming action.” (pg 6)

John 1:14-18

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’“) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

Luther's reflection:

If the law says to your anxious conscience: “You are commanded to do various tasks. You, however, have not carried out these commandments and so you will be held responsible for their omission.”

In a struggle of this kind and in a state of mortal dread, it is a matter of urgency that faith should take heart, assert itself with all its might and denounce the law with the following counterargument: “Well, my dear law, do you really think that you alone are God’s Word? What about the Gospel, isn’t that also God’s Word as well? Has the Promise already come to its final conclusion? Has God’s mercy also ceased to function?”

If the law accuses me of being a sinner and of being entered in God’s register of sinners, then I have to confess that this is the case, but then the argument can be pursued as follows: the fact that I am condemned cannot be repudiated, but instead, I must defend myself with the full strength of my faith and say: there is no doubt that according to the law I am condemned as a poor reprobate sinner; but I make my appeal by proceeding from the law to the Gospel.

God has given us a Word that stands above the Law and this Word is called the Gospel, which dispenses the forgiveness of sins, righteousness and life by the grace of God.

God’s Peace to you all,

Pastor Barbara

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