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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 247

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From the Word: 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he hungered. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by each word going out through the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:1–4)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Daily Prayers

Returning Thanks

After the meal, they should reverently and with folded hands pray:

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever. He gives food to all flesh; He gives food to the beast and to the young ravens that cry. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.

Then pray the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

We thank Thee, Lord God, our Father, for all Thy benefits, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Pulling It Together: When at table, and we consider all of God’s benefits, we must not think only of those things that go into our mouths. We should also give thanks for what comes out of God’s mouth. All the commands, precepts, and teachings of God in Scripture are a great benefit. The stories and teachings of the patriarchs, prophets, psalmists, apostles, and of course, Jesus, are there for our good. We should not only dine upon them but give thanks to God for them too.

Where would we be without the Ten Commandments? If you think the world is nuts now, imagine it without God’s commands. Where would we be without the warnings and rebukes of the prophets, the poetry and song of David and the other psalmists, the foundational and fortifying instruction of the apostles, and certainly, the stories and teachings of Christ Jesus?

All these point us to the Savior. How could we not give thanks for such a great benefit?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all you have given that is meant for my mouth, but also for that Word which proceeds from your mouth. Amen.

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