A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series December 4, 2011 - Advent 2: Populus Zion
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Old Testament, Malachi 4:1-6 for the Advent 2: Populus Zion, December 4, 2011.
It is from Large Catechism, Part I.105-112.
To honor, serve and, obey, love and cherish our fathers and mothers is to honor, serve and, obey, love and cherish the LORD. To despise or anger our fathers and mothers is to despise and anger the LORD.
105] To the position of fatherhood and motherhood God has given special distinction above all positions that are beneath it: He does not simply command us to love our parents, but to honor them. He separates and distinguishes father and mother [above] all other persons upon earth and places them at His side. 106] For it is a far higher thing to honor someone than to love someone, because honor includes not only love, but also modesty, humility, and submission to a majesty hidden in them, 107] Honor requires not only that parents be addressed kindly and with reverence, but also that, both in the heart and with the body, we demonstrate that we value them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For someone we honor from the heart we must also truly regard as high and great. 108] We must, therefore, impress this truth upon the young that they should think of their parents as standing in God's place. They should remember that however lowly, poor, frail, and strange their parents may be, nevertheless, they are the father and the mother given to them by God. Parents are not to be deprived of their honor because of their conduct or their failings. Therefore, we are not to consider who they are or how they may be, but the will of God, who has created and ordained parenthood. In other respects people are, indeed, all equal in God's eyes. But among humans there must necessarily be this inequality and ordered difference. Therefore, God commands this order to be kept, that you obey me as your father, and that I have the supremacy. 109] Learn, therefore, first, what is the honor towards parents required by this commandment, to wit, that they be held in distinction and esteem above all things, as the most precious treasure on earth. 110] Furthermore, that also in our words we observe modesty toward them, do not accost them roughly, haughtily, and defiantly, but yield to them and be silent, even though they go too far. 111] Thirdly, that we show them such honor also by works, that is, with our body and possessions, that we serve them, help them, and provide for them when they are old, sick, infirm, or poor, and all that not only gladly, but with humility and reverence, as doing it before God. For he who knows how to regard them in his heart will not allow them to suffer want or hunger, but will place them above him and at his side, and will share with them whatever he has and possesses. 112] Secondly, notice how great, good, and holy a work is here assigned children, to do good and holy works, none better than to give all honor and obedience to [their] parents, because God has Himself commanded it.
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