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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 75

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From the Word: For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who beholds the Son, and believes in him, has eternal life. And I will resurrect him on the last day. (John 6:40)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

This is the common course of the world, which, like a great storm, has flooded all lands. Consequently, we have our just deserts: pandemics, wars, famines, fires, floods, wayward spouses and children and employees, and abuses of every sort. Where else would so much misery come from? It is a great mercy that the earth still bears and sustains us.

Pulling It Together: Everywhere one turns, there are lies and deception. In the modern age, we call it spinning the truth, and thereby, we even lie about lying. People claim to no longer lie, but to simply spin the truth. But if the truth is spun on its axis, it comes out on the other side: a lie. Therefore, they get what they deserve, the whole world spun on its axis. Everything comes out wrong, backwards and upside down. Instead of peace, there is war; instead of health, disease; instead of life, death. So, they seek easy answers, some truth that will make things better, even if they have to spin it to turn things their way. Yet, their attempts will never turn out the way they want. There is only One who satisfies, One who gives life, peace, and contentment—even in a topsy-turvy world.

Still, people want what they want: their idea of peace, not Christ’s, free food and drink instead of the Bread of Life and Living Water, their will be done instead of God’s, their truth instead of the Truth that will set them free (John 8:32). In other words, they want a lie, even one gilded with religious overtones. But we are called to believe in Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), whether things go our way or not. Then like Job of Uz, and Saul of Tarsus, when life is turned upside down, our orientation remains true. We must depend upon God, not things. Luther said it this way: “His goodwill should be greater comfort to us than all his gifts, for God is immeasurably greater than all his gifts.” We need not lie in order to gain, for if we have God, we have enough—we have everything.

Prayer: Give me the strength, Lord, to labor for true food that endures to eternal life. Amen.

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