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From the Word: But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you, and guard you against the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
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.)
Here, then, is the fruit and the reward for whoever observes this commandment. They will be blessed with happy days, fortune, and prosperity. On the other hand, the punishment for the disobedient is that they will perish sooner and never possess joy in life. For to have long life in the sense of the Scriptures, is not only to become old, but to have everything that relates to long life—health, spouse and children, livelihood, peace, good government, etc.—without which this life can neither be cheerfully enjoyed nor long endured.
Pulling It Together: These traditions that we have learned from our parents (if only our parents in the church)—keeping the commandments, prayerfully reading the Scriptures, confessing the faith, attending to the sacrament of Holy Communion etc.—are a great and lifelong blessing. Through these, God is faithful to strengthen us and give us confident courage in the face of evil and temptation and sin, and finally, in the absence of our own strength and abilities, to guard us against these things. This is long life, and happy and prosperous days: to spend however many we are allotted on earth in the presence of our Lord so that we are fitted for a glorious life that is not only long, but eternal.
Prayer: Thank you for this life, Lord, and for the eternal life that is promised through life in you. Amen.
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