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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 52

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1 Kings 2:10

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

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).

What does this mean?

Answer: We should fear and love God so that we do not show contempt for our parents and others in authority, nor provoke them to anger, but respect, obey, serve, love, and honor them.

Pulling It Together: We are to honor our parents. One of the ways this is done is by respecting, obeying, serving, and otherwise loving them throughout our shared days. When those days are over, when our parents have died, the honor God commands is not concluded. We must honor our parents even in death. This was especially so in ancient societies when family did not hand over the duties required in preparing and burying the body, then later, gathering the bones of the deceased to “sleep” with their ancestors. Today, we pay someone to prepare and bury the dead, and because land is plentiful, we typically inter in a family lot. Nonetheless, being certain that this is done with dignity and in a manner that glorifies God is another way we ought to honor our fathers and mothers.

Prayer: Help me, Lord, to honor my parents, as well as all the elderly in my congregation, as I would want to be treated. Amen.

Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.

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