From the Word: 25 And behold, an authority in the law stood up and put him on trial saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to obtain eternal life?” 26 And he said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you interpret it?” 27 And answering he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind—and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” (Luke 10:25–28)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and your mother, (that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.)
Secondly, take note of how great, good, and holy a work is assigned to children, yet regrettably, one that is utterly neglected and ignored. No one perceives that God has commanded it, or that it is a holy, divine word and doctrine. For if we had regarded it as such, everyone could have concluded that those who live according to these words must be holy men. There would have been no need to invent monasticism or spiritual orders, for every child would have lived by this commandment. Each could have directed his conscience to God and said, “If I am to do good and holy works, I know of none better than to render all honor and obedience to my parents, because God himself has commanded it.”
Pulling It Together: Even Jesus obeyed the commandment to honor his earthly parents, as well as his heavenly Father. Honoring one’s parents is an extension of the greatest commandment: to love your neighbor as yourself. The closest neighbors you have are your mother and father. Love them. Cherish them. You are doubly commanded to do so, and in the doing, you love and honor both neighbor and God.
Prayer: Help me to honor my parents, Lord, and live. Amen.
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Views of Baptism is written for a range of readers including the parent or sponsor about to baptize a child, the adult who wants to understand baptism more fully, and the professional teacher or preacher who needs the truth about baptism stated simply but backed by careful research. This books explores three views of baptism: the individual-centered view, the means-of-grace view, and the Roman Catholic view. It includes a description of how Christian baptism came to us in stages from its Jewish roots. A question and answer section addresses specific matters often raised when people contemplate baptism.