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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 260

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From the Word: 11 And I will place my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not loathe you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. (Leviticus 26:11–12)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Table of Duties

Certain passages of Scripture for various holy orders and positions, warning them about their duties and responsibilities:

For Widows

She who is really a widow, alone, hopes in God, and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who is self-indulgent is dead while she lives (1 Tim 5:5–6).

Pulling It Together: What else is there for anyone to do but to love God and one’s neighbor? This is the greatest commandment (Matt 22:36–40). What better way is there for anyone to love God than to spend time with him? What better way is there for one to love her neighbors than to pray for them? No one is really alone when she lives her life with God as he has commanded.

If you keep God’s commandments — ultimately, if you believe in the incarnate God and love your neighbor (1 John 3:23) — then he makes his dwelling with you. God is living with widows, and not only those who are isolated from others, but with all who believe in him.

Therefore, when you are feeling alone, know that you are not really alone. That loneliness is a feeling — not a fact. Open your Bible and listen to God who abides with you. When his Spirit prompts you to pray for someone, do so. Night and day, be assured that you are not alone. For God in whom you hope, walks with you.

Prayer: Open my heart and my lips, Lord, to pray for my neighbor. Amen.

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Martin Luther, following St. Augustine, described the sinner as incurvatus in se, as "curved in on oneself." Looking to ourselves for righteousness or spiritual peace will lead us only into pride or despair. It takes the external word of the Gospel to draw us into a saving relationship with God in Christ. Video recordings on DVD, a necessary component of the Lost and Found Bible Study series, feature the pastors of Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, MN, the Rev. Scott Grorud and the Rev. David Wollan.

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