A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series November 1, 2010 - All Saints'
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Epistle,Revelation 7:9-17; Gospel, Matthew 5:1-12 for the All Saints', November 1, 2010.
It is from The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXI.
We Lutherans rightly reject and condemn the worship or invocation of the saints as contrary to the will and Word of God. Yet, at the same time, we acknowledge it is a beneficial devotional exercise to honor and remember them as amongst the greatest gifts through which the Holy Spirit has delivered the one true faith to us and our children.
4 Our Confession approves honoring the saints in three ways. The first is thanksgiving. We should thank God because He has shown examples of mercy, because He wishes to save people, and because He has given teachers and other gifts to the Church. These gifts, since they are the greatest, should be amplified. The saints themselves, who have faithfully used these gifts, should be praised just as Christ praises faithful businessmen, (Matthew 25:21,23). 5 The second service is the strengthening of our faith. When we see Peter's denial forgiven, we also are encouraged to believe all the more that grace truly superabounds over sin (Romans 5:20). 6 The third honor is the imitation, first of faith, then of the other virtues. Everyone should imitate the saints according to his calling. . . . 9 We admit that, just as the saints (when alive) pray for the Church universal in general, so in heaven they pray for the Church in general. However, no passage about the praying of the dead exists in the Scriptures, . . . Furthermore, even if the saints do pray for the Church, that does not mean they should be invoked. Our Confession affirms only this: Scripture does not teach the invocation of the saints, or that we are to ask the saints for aid. Since neither a command nor a promise nor an example can be produced from the Scriptures about the invocation of saints, it makes sense that conscience remains uncertain about this invocation. Since prayer should be made from faith, how do we know that God approves this invocation?
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