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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass part 33

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Acts 2:42–47

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Good folks can readily see it is a false accusation that we abolish the daily sacrifice. Experience shows the kind of despots who hold power in the Church. Under the pretext of religion, they seize the kingdom of the world, ruling without concern for religion and the teaching of the gospel, waging war like the kings of the world, and instituting new services in the Church.

Pulling It Together

The Lutheran Reformers taught that there are two basic types of kingdoms in the world: the first, spiritual, the second, temporal. The Church at the time of the Reformation held—and wielded—both powers. The overlap allowed for all manner of problems, such as viewing religious matters through the lens of the State, and funding the worldly campaigns of the Church with the offerings of the people. The result, in terms of the Mass, was that it became a money-making ceremony. It’s purpose was not so much remembrance and forgiveness but a kind of profiteering. Using the Mass as a fundraiser was out of the question, thus, paying for a Mass to be “said” was unthinkable, though practiced daily, whether the purchaser was present or not. The Reformers wanted Christ—not money and other worldly concerns—to be the focus everywhere and of everything in the Church. We are to to come together to remember our Lord in the breaking of bread, yet never as a commercial enterprise. When the focus is on Christ, the means are available, even if it means we sell our possessions in order to care for others.

Prayer: Fix the priorities of your Church, Lord, as you keep us ever reforming. Amen.

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