From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Confession and Satisfaction
Additionally, the Fathers wrote that once is sufficient for the public or ceremonial penitence that the canons mention concerning satisfactions. Therefore it is understood that they did not consider these canons as being necessary for the remission of sins. In addition, they frequently say that repentance should be shown in other ways than this ceremonial one expressed in the canons about satisfactions.
Pulling It Together: You may have all of the outward signs of a Christian but if you neglect the greatest commandment, you are headed for trouble. All of your morality and ceremonies and works can be in play but if you do not have love, you will come to nothing (1 Cor 13:3). Do you love the Lord with every fiber of your being? Do you love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:36–39)? If not, remember how far you have fallen since you first fell in love with Jesus. Repent; head back to that relationship with him, in which he is first in your life. This is the true repentance of the heart that causes various fruits of repentance to grow out of your life.
Prayer: Help me to remember the height from which I have fallen out of love with you, Lord—and help me to return. Amen.
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Hymns and Spiritual Songs from The North is a compliation of Nordic hymns. In the spirit of Martin Luther, such a hymn is usually a meditation or sermon on a Biblical text that grows out of the text for a Sunday. Sometimes it is long and slow, even mournful, giving singers the possibility of meditating on God's Word in their own context. Less often it is joyful, but it is always filled with longing and hope. We can imagine the grandma, during long dark winters, sitting by the fire, spinning or knitting as she sang stanza after stanza of an old favorite hymn or spiritual song, teaching her grandchildren to sing along with her. When they learned to lisp those words with her, they were learning how Scripture could be used to meet the deepest sorrows and the greatest joys of life.