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What Luther Says about the Promises of God

“But it is the chief subject of all Holy Scripture to know and understand God when He makes a promise. For He helps and brings support even with the actual realization of His promise and when it is fulfilled; but before this He disciplines faith in the promise by means of a lack of the things of which we are in need. He does this in order that we may learn to trust Him and not to tempt Him” (LW 8:201).

Last Sunday of the Church Year

Old Testament Reading 

Daniel 7:9–10, 13–14

The Final Volume of the Concordia Commentaries on the Book of Matthew

The final volume covering the Gospel of Matthew in the acclaimed Concordia Commentary series is set to release in November 2018. Matthew 21:1–28:20 covers the last third of this book.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament Reading 

Daniel 12:1–3

What Luther Says about the Life of God's Saints

“Such is the life of the saints, and all the misfortunes with which they are afflicted are nothing else than a pleasant and agreeable game with which God plays with us as a father plays with his children. At times a father orders them to do something which, as he knows, exceeds their strength, He commands his little son to fetch a pot, to pull off his socks. When the child, without realizing how weak he is, makes energetic efforts to carry out the order, the father lends a hand and praises the zeal and strength of his son, in order that the boy may gradually be aroused and accustomed to obedience and reciprocal love” (LW 7:319).

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament Reading 

1 Kings 17:8–16

What Luther Says about the Scandal of God's Grace Blessing the Ungodly

“The ungodly boast about their scepter and rule, and they have reason to do so, for God fills their belly with good things, He gives them the kingdoms and riches of the world. . . . He also gives bodily blessings to the saints, but slowly and in the midst of many tribulations so that their faith may be exercised and that they may learn to know the gifts of God and to use them in a godly manner.

What Luther Says about How a Christian Treats His Neighbor

“A Christian should not and cannot (if he remains a Christian) be an unmerciful or vindictive man, because he has become God’s child, and from Him he has obtained mercy, in which he lives without ceasing. He should not have desire for or joy in his neighbor’s harm and misfortune or have a bitter, harsh, and stubborn heart toward him. Rather, he is much more disposed to show mercy to his neighbor, even to one who is hostile to him, and to take pity on his blindness and misery, because he sees him lying in God’s wrath and leading himself into eternal ruin and damnation, so that he is already all too highly avenged on him. Just for that reason he should be kind to him and show him all charity (provided that he will tolerate and accept it), so that in this way he may win him and bring him to repentance” (LW 78:192).

What Luther Says about God Chastising Those He Loves

“I have often seen excellent men horribly vexed by terrors, afflictions, and the severest persecutions, so much so that they nearly experienced despair of heart. But these things must be learned so that we may be able to comfort such men and interpret the temptations as the special manner by which God is accustomed to wrestle with us in the form of a destroyer and that we may exhort them firmly to retain the promise, or lamp and spark, of the Word in the hope that the rescue will certainly follow. For God leads down to hell and brings back (cf. 1 Sam. 2:6). Now you see His back parts, and God seems to be shunning you, but sometime later you will see His front parts and His face. This is what it means for Him to love those whom He chastises. This love must be learned from experience, nor should chastisement be avoided and shunned. The story is told of a peasant who, when he heard this consolation from his pastor, that the afflictions and troubles by which God afflicts us are signs of His love, replied: ‘Ah, how I would like Him to love others and not me!’

Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

Old Testament Reading 

Ecclesiastes 5:10–20 (MT 5:9–19)