Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer: August 20, 2023

Catechism: Confession and the Office of the Keys

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Prepared for Christ’s Coming — We conclude our summertime readings from Matthew this week by looking forward to Christ’s Second Coming. The Parable of the Fig Tree teaches us that the signs of the times (false Christ’s, false prophets, earthquakes, famine, pestilence, wars, persecution, etc.) teach us that the new and better life in Christ is about to dawn, like the budding leaves of the fig tree that teach us that summer is near. “Heaven and earth will pass away” but Jesus’ Word will never pass away. Who is the Faithful Servant but that minister or Christian that is living faithfully according to Christ’s Word. Ministers faithfully preach, teach, and administer the Sacraments. Christians live in the station in life, confessing Jesus with faith in Him and love to the neighbor. The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins teaches us that we are prepared for Christ’s return in glory as our heavenly bridegroom if our hearts are filled with the Holy Spirit and faith in Christ. This preparedness only comes through the ongoing reception of Christ’s Word and Sacrament. The Parable of the Talents teaches us that the Lord has committed His Gospel and sacraments to His servants, that they might preach and administer them faithfully in His stead until His return. All ministers will be called to account on the Last Day for the administration of His gifts. In the Second Coming in Judgment, Jesus will separate believers and unbelievers. The works of mercy and compassion that are cited in the sheep are the works of love that flow from faith in Christ and which identify Christians as followers of Jesus. The fact that the sheep are amazed that Jesus cited such things, shows that their faith is not in such works, but that such works are the sign of living faith in Christ. When Jesus’ returns again in glory, we will hear His sweet word of comfort, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”CP230820