A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series April 14, 2013 - Misericordias Domini: Easter 3
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 10:11-16 for the Misericordias Domini: Easter 3, April 14, 2013.
It is from Large Catechism, Longer Preface.
The faithful shepherd spares no suffering in pasturing the sheep entrusted to his care for nutritious food and pure water, and inspecting them for any sign of injury or disease. So too the pastor ought spare no suffering in nurturing the people God has given into his care in His pure Word and examining them according to it.
A Christian, profitable, and necessary preface, and faithful, serious encouragement from Dr. Martin Luther to all Christians, but especially to all pastors and preachers, that They should daily exercise themselves in the catechism, which is a short summary and epitome of the entire Holy Scriptures. They should always teach the Catechism. 1] … Sadly we see that many pastors and preachers are very negligent in this matter and slight both their office and this teaching. Some neglect the catechism because of great and high art (giving their mind, as they imagine, to much "higher" matters). But others neglect it from sheer laziness and care for their bellies. They take no other stand in this business than to act as pastors and preachers for their bellies' sake. They have nothing to do but to spend and consume their wages as long as they live,… 2] They now have everything that they are to preach and teach placed before them abundantly, clearly, and easily,… Oh, they are completely shameful gluttons and servants of their own bellies. They are more fit to be swineherds and dog-tenders than caretakers of souls and pastors. 3] … I wish that, … they would read each morning, noon, and evening, only a page or two in the catechism, the prayer book, the New Testament, or something else in the Bible. They should pray the Lord's Prayer for themselves and their parishioners. Then they might respond with honor and thanks to the Gospel, by which they have been delivered from obvious burdens and troubles, and might feel a little shame. For like pigs and dogs, they take nothing more from the Gospel than this lazy, deadly, shameful, worldly freedom! 4] The common people also respect the Gospel altogether too lightly, and we accomplish nothing special, even though we work diligently…. 6] Yes, even among the nobility one may find some clowns and penny pinchers, who say there is no longer any need for either pastors or preachers; … 8] … Yet these delicate, refined fellows would in one reading promptly become doctors above all doctors, know everything, and need nothing. Well, this, too, is a sure sign that they despise both their office and the souls of the people. Indeed, they even despise God and His Word.
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen