A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series September 26, 2010 - Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the OT, Proverbs 25:6–14; Epistle, Ephesians 4:1–6; and Gospel, Luke 14:1–11 for the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, September 26, 2010.
Each of our Scripture lessons today is about placing our self and our names, personal needs and reputations above those of our neighbor. Given the fact that our dear Lord has given us His name in Holy Baptism, and with it has promised upon His reputation to defend us and care for our every need, we can and should in all security and confidence devote ourselves to the defense and care of our neighbor and his good name.
254 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 255 Over and above our own body, spouse, and temporal possessions, we still have another treasure—honor and good reputation [Proverbs 22:1]. We cannot do without these. For it is intolerable to live among people in open shame and general contempt. 256 Therefore, God does not want the reputation, good name, and upright character of our neighbor to be taken away or diminished, just as with his money and possessions. He wants everyone to stand in his integrity before wife, children, servants, and neighbors.
260 Therefore, this commandment is given in the first place so that everyone shall help his neighbor to secure his rights and not allow them to be hindered or twisted. But everyone shall promote and strictly maintain these rights,
263 In the third place, which concerns us all, this commandment forbids all sins of the tongue [James 3], by which we may injure or confront our neighbor. To bear false witness is nothing else than a work of the tongue. Now, God prohibits whatever is done with the tongue against a fellow man. This applies to false preachers with their doctrine and blasphemy, false judges and witnesses with their verdict, or outside of court by lying and speaking evil. 264 Here belongs particularly the detestable, shameful vice of speaking behind a person's back and slandering, to which the devil spurs us on, and of which much could be said. For it is a common evil plague that everyone prefers hearing evil more than hearing good about his neighbor. We ourselves are so bad that we cannot allow anyone to say anything bad about us. Everyone would much prefer that all the world should speak of him in glowing terms. Yet we cannot bear that the best is spoken about others.
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