A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series January 2, 2011 - Second Sunday after Christmas
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, Matthew 2:13-23 for the Second Sunday after Christmas, January 2, 2011.
It is from Large Catechism, Lord's Prayer.
Certainly our Father in heaven promises to deliver His baptized children of faith from all evil and the evil one who seeks to devour them, just as He delivered His only begotten Son from Herod's evil plan. Therefore this petition, and every prayer of faith, simply calls upon the name of the Lord to do for us now according to His Word.
113 In the Greek text this petition reads, "Deliver or preserve us from the evil one," or "the hateful one." It looks like Jesus was speaking about the devil, like He would summarize every petition in one. So the entire substance of all our prayer is directed against our chief enemy. For it is he who hinders among us everything that we pray for: God's name or honor, God's kingdom and will, our daily bread, a cheerful good conscience, and so forth.
114 Therefore, we finally sum it all up and say, "Dear Father, grant that we be rid of all these disasters." 115 But there is also included in this petition whatever evil may happen to us under the devil's kingdom: poverty, shame, death, and, in short, all the agonizing misery and heartache of which there is such an unnumbered multitude on the earth. Since the devil is not only a liar, but also a murderer [John 8:44], he constantly seeks our life. He wreaks his vengeance whenever he can afflict our bodies with misfortune and harm. Therefore, it happens that he often breaks men's necks or drives them to insanity, drowns some, and moves many to commit suicide and to many other terrible disasters [e.g., Mark 9:17-22]. 116 So there is nothing for us to do upon earth but to pray against this archenemy without stopping. For unless God preserved us, we would not be safe from this enemy even for an hour.
. . . 119 So God has briefly placed before us all the distress that may ever come upon us, so that we might have no excuse whatever for not praying. But all depends upon this, that we learn also to say "Amen." . . .
120 This is nothing else than the word of undoubting faith, which does not pray on a dare but knows that God does not lie to him [Titus 1:2]. For He has promised to grant it. Therefore, where there is no such faith, there cannot be true prayer either.
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