From the Word: And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong, whom you see and know. And the faith that is through him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. (Acts 3:16)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The First Commandment
You shall have no other gods before me.
Let us, then, learn the First Commandment well, so that we may understand that God will not tolerate presumption nor trust in any other object. He requires nothing more of us than wholehearted confidence in him for everything good. Then we may proceed properly and directly, using all the blessings that God gives—like a shoemaker uses his needle, awl, and thread for work, and then lays them aside, or as a traveler uses an inn, and food, and his bed only for temporal necessity, each one in his station, according to God's order, and without allowing any of these things to be our lord or idol.
Pulling It Together: It needs saying again, that a particular idol is always lurking nearby. We need to be aware of it so that we may give it a good kick behind us. This needs doing on an almost daily basis. That idol is religion. Our church going can become a god, a thing in which we put our confidence. Religion is the most dangerous and crafty idol because it seems to us so close to divinity, for through it, we focus on the divine. Be aware so your focus does not shift from God himself to the works of religion. This very idol sparked the Reformation. So, keep a watch that your trust is in God alone, not in Bible reading, praying, or any other devotional practice, nor in serving on church committees, feeding the poor, or any other service of righteousness. For it becomes unrighteous as soon as you begin to trust in the work. Saving faith comes through the Lord alone—never through the idol of religious works, no matter how pious they may seem.
Prayer: Give me, O Lord, a sincere faith through Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Seasons of the Church Year introduces students to the seasons or cycles of the liturgical year as the Church reflects upon the story of Christ and our life of faith in this world. It was written for a 3rd-4th grade level, but is flexible enough to be used for most elementary-aged students.