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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 135

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From the Word: Shall the axe boast over the one who hews with it? Shall the saw magnify itself over the one who wields it? As if a club should wield those who lift it up, or a staff should lift up those who are not wood. (Isaiah 10:15)

From the ConfessionsThe 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.)

More is to be said in regards to this commandment about various kinds of obedience due to those in authority, those who must command and govern. All authority flows and spreads from the authority of parents. Where a father is unable by himself to instruct his rebellious child, he employs a schoolmaster to teach him. If he is too weak, he enlists the aid of his friends and neighbors. If he dies, he delegates and confers his authority and responsibility to others who are appointed for the purpose. Likewise, he must have servants under himself to manage the household, so that all whom we call masters are in the place of parents and must derive their power and authority to govern from them. They are all called fathers in the Scriptures, because those in government perform the functions of a father, and should have a paternal heart toward their people. From antiquity, the Romans and other nations called the masters and mistresses of the household patres- and matres-familiae, that is, housefathers and housemothers. They called their national rulers and overlords patres patriae, that is, fathers of the entire country. It is a great shame to us who would be Christians who do not speak this way of those who rule, or at least, who do not esteem and honor them as such.

Pulling It Together: Should the created vaunt themselves over the Creator? This logic follows downward. Next to the Father come father and mother, those whom God has put in charge. Shall children put themselves over those who brought them into this world, who have nourished and nurtured them? Shall students boast of greater knowledge than their teacher? Shall employees make themselves the boss of the employer? None of this makes sense, nor does it work.

Prayer: Help me to know my place, Lord. Amen.

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How to be a Disciple is a six-part series of dramas featuring the first twelve disciples, each exploring a piece of the discipleship puzzle. The disciples are placed in a light-hearted contemporary setting, helping listeners to get a sense for the down-to-earth interplay between personalities. The progression of the series is meant to provide the larger picture of what discipleship means. (Two to five characters per drama.)

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