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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 74

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From the Word: 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has a grudge with you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go. First, be reconciled with your brother, and then come to offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23–24) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.

Pulling It Together: The greatest need our neighbors have, whether they know it or not, is emotional. We must not cause them any anguish, as it is ongoing, causing stress that mounts on stress, a daily trauma to be withstood. Soon enough, this emotional suffering becomes spiritual in nature. As such, it is a tension that cannot be truly overcome without reconciliation. Because we cannot love God without caring for our neighbor, we must fear, love, and trust God to the degree that we risk personal humiliation by pressing for peace with neighbor and self. Only then can there be concord with both neighbor and God.

Prayer: Give me the courage, Lord, to be at peace with everyone, so much as it depends upon me. Amen.

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Come, Holy Spirit! is a workbook-style Bible study about the work of the third Person of the Trinity being connected to the work of the Father and the Son. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation in giving life and breath. Throughout the Old Testament, the Spirit revealed truth to people and empowered people to do God's will by speaking through the prophets. In the same way, the New Testament show that the Spirit is at work in the hearts of all believers as the source of our life in faith.

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