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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 149

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From the Word: 28 Then they cry to the Lord in their suffering, and he brings them out of their distresses. 29 He stills the storm to a calm, so that the billows are silent. 30 Then they rejoice because the swells are tranquil, and he brings them to their desired harbor. (Psalm 107:28–30)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: If you have ever been on a boat in a bad storm, you know the helplessness of the situation. The closest many of us have come to this nautical nightmare is driving down an Interstate highway when a blinding rainstorm seems to come out of nowhere. The best one may do in such a situation is pull over and wait out the storm. Of course, when you are in a boat at sea, there is no place to pull over.

“The whole Christian church on earth” is that boat. Sometimes the storm—the angst over sin, and concerns about death—is overwhelming and it seems there is no refuge. The boat is our only sanctuary, so we wait it out together in that safest of places, awaiting the stillness that God has promised. And what is that promise but that he forgives our sins and gives us victory over death, and that he will, at last, bring this boat filled with all his people into her anticipated haven? Rejoice!

Prayer: Give me the courage to wait upon you, Lord. Amen.

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