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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 61

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From the Word: 1 And when the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a violent, driving wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And dispersed tongues like fire appeared to them and rested upon each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1–4)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods before me.

The failure is that the world does not believe any of this, nor regard it as God's Word. It sees those who trust in God, instead of mammon, as suffering sorrow and want, that the devil opposes and attacks them. They do not have money, favor, or honor, and besides, can scarcely stay alive. On the other hand, those who serve mammon have power, favor, honor, property, and every comfort in the eyes of the world. So, in the face of ostensible contradiction, we must consider that they do not lie or deceive, but must prove true.

Pulling It Together: Gathering together, likely for prayer and the latest word from the apostles, those earliest disciples were probably considered fools by those in the streets of Jerusalem. Descriptions like weak, poor, and pathetic were possibly in the thoughts of those outside the little church, just like many think of the church today. There they sat, low and weak in the estimation of the world, yet about to be given the power from on high.

In the weakness of faith, we discover that God’s grace alone is sufficient, and that his power is manifested in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9). When we are weak, we are most strong because weakness has us depend upon God. It is then that the Spirit of God alights and rests upon us. Yes, yes, we are weak, but in our weakness, the power of God is at work.

Prayer: I depend upon you alone, Lord, as you are above all things. Amen.

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