It is a complicated question. What makes a Lutheran? Belief in grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone is often used to describe the essence of a Lutheran. These three “solas” are a good overview of what Lutheranism is and what defines our relationship with God. Dr. Daniel E. Paavola addresses this and other questions about his new book Grace, Faith, Scripture: Portrait of a Lutheran.
People know only so much about you. Your neighbors, the people at work, even your friends—they all know only a part of you. However, what they know paints their picture of you.
This blog post is an excerpt from Sincerely, Luther, our forthcoming set of fictional letters from Luther's perspective.
What are your memories of growing up Lutheran? How has growing up Lutheran impacted your life?
A few years ago, I wrote this blog about why our family loves Lutheran schools. Every year, this post circulates among Lutheran educators and parents. I’m so glad for those of you who also love your Lutheran school.
I recently removed several unused books from one of the shelves in my office at church, and as I looked at some of them, I realized I should never have bought them. Some of the other books I removed had found their way into my possession because I claimed them off of some freebie table. I should have let those books remain as orphans on that freebie table. There are other books that I bought thinking they would become long-term resources for my ministry, but trends change.
After school is homework time at my house. The kids are working on their homework, and as I tell them, “Mom has some homework too.” So they work through math problems, reading assignments, and memory work while I tackle emails or other work projects that need to be addressed before the end of the day. Recently, during our homework time, I perked up when my eight-year-old said, “Alexa, open the Small Catechism.” Alexa greeted him, then Connor asked, “Alexa, what is the Second Commandment?”
At a time when the world endures the pain and devastation of sin, the music of the church provides a special comfort. The life of Johann Sebastian Bach, a Lutheran composer of renown, comes to mind on this day, the anniversary of his death, as his music shaped generations of Church music around the world. This special excerpt from Celebrating the Saints on the life of Johann Sebastian Bach includes a brief biography and ends with a prayer asking God's continued blessings from Bach's and other composer's music:
This prayer has been well loved by the church for years. Luther’s words accompany many of us each night as we talk with God. As Lutherans, we learn this prayer in childhood.
Luther's morning prayer has been well loved by the church for years. Luther’s words accompany many of us each morning as we talk with God.