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From the Word: 20 But that is not how you learned Christ— 21 if indeed you have heard him, and were instructed in him, as truth is in Jesus — 22 that, as to your former conduct, you take off the old self that is corrupt through the lusts of deception, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which is created according to God in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Ephesians 4:20–24)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Introduction
Now that they are freed from the fruitless and burdensome babbling of the Seven Canonical Hours, they could instead, morning, noon, and evening, read a page or two in the Catechism, the Prayer Book, the New Testament or elsewhere in the Bible, and pray the Lord’s Prayer for themselves and their parishioners. In doing so, they might render honor and thanks to the gospel, by which they have been delivered from an assortment of burdens and troubles, and might feel a little shame because, like pigs and dogs, they retain no more of the gospel than this lazy, insidious, dishonorable, carnal freedom.
Pulling It Together: We need not lay this at the doorstep of the past. Let us look to ourselves.
One has to wonder how much fruitless babbling occurs on Sunday mornings. Is the heart engaged when we pray the Lord’s Prayer, sing the liturgy and hymns, say the Creed, or even sit through the Readings? If not, it is useless blathering. Do we recite and listen mindlessly? Are we involved or just going through the motions?
Can there be any real engagement with these components of worship if we are not reading the Bible daily? Our prayers and hymns are secondary sources that are informed and enriched by the primary source of Scripture. Let us cast off the old sloth and commit to being renewed in the spirit of our minds. May we, at least once a day, read a little in the Scripture and pray the Lord’s Prayer, at very least. Then, worship will be enhanced, as the Spirit will have something to work with other than a lump in the pew.
Prayer: Clothe me, Father, in the Living Word. Amen.
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Reading and Discussion of Luther's Catechisms is a more challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, presented in a question and discussion format.