Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer

Catechism: Table of Duties — To Workers of All Kinds

May 12, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Table of Duties: To Workers of All Kinds— How many employees or workers would call themselves “slaves”? Not too many. If one did consider himself a slave, it would not be a complimentary term. Yet “slave” is a term that is often used in the New Testament of our Lord. For Him it is not demeaning. It is a term that describes the nature of His office as one who has come into the world to serve not Himself but others. He came to serve both the Father in love and sinful man in love to the point of dying upon the cross. He had no thought for Himself or for His own protection or welfare. He is the ultimate “worker,” and in His work we see the true nature of Christian work. We “work” as Christians, not to serve ourselves, but to serve others in love. The characteristic of our work is that it is done for others, even if they do not appreciate it. Selfless love is what motivated Jesus, and it is that love to which we are called by faith in the Gospel. Jesus’ selfless love and service to us is reflected in His own words: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Since this is Jesus’ confession about Himself, we should not be adverse to having ourselves called slaves. [Reprinted from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition]CP240512

Catechism: Table of Duties—To Parents and Children

May 5, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Table of Duties: To Parents and Children—“It would be well to preach to parents on the nature of their office, how they should treat those committed to their authority…God does not want to have knaves or tyrants in this office and responsibility nor does he assign them this honor (that is, power and authority to govern) merely to receive homage. Parents should consider that they owe obedience to God, and that, above all, they should earnestly and faithfully discharge the duties of their office, not only to provide for the material support of their children, servants, subjects, etc., but especially to bring them up to the praise and honor of God…If we want qualified and capable men for both civil and spiritual leadership, we must spare no effort, time, and expense in teaching and educating our children to serve God and mankind. We must not think only of amassing money and property for them. God can provide for them and make them rich without our help, as indeed He does daily. But he has given and entrusted children to us with the command that we train and govern them according to His will; otherwise God would have no need of father and mother. Therefore let everybody know that it is his chief duty, on pain of losing divine grace, to bring up his children in the fear and knowledge of God, and if they are gifted to give them opportunity to learn and study so that they may be of service wherever they are needed.” (4th Commandment, Large Catechism)CP240505

Catechism: Table of Duties — To Wives

April 28, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Table of Duties Concerning Wives and Husbands—The passages of Holy Scripture in the Table of Duties concern the offices we have been given as Christians where our faith in Christ is lived out in this world. There is often great confusion about these two holy offices. Husbands are the head of their wives, but their headship is one of sacrificial love, teaching the Word of God, and forgiving sin. They are to be considerate of their wives who are placed in an office that requires them to submit to their husbands. Husbands are not to lord their authority over their wives. This is always a temptation for any Christian husband. Wives are to understand that their office of submission is patterned after Christ’s bride the Church. They are to expect their husbands to love them, teach them, and forgive them. Their beauty is not in outward adornment, but in the reception of their husband’s love. “This is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands…” It is a beautiful and blessed thing when husbands love their wives as Christ loved the Church and when wives receive that love and trust in it.CP240428

Catechism: Table of Duties—To Husbands

April 21, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Office of Husband — This week’s section of the Table of Duties directs us to what God’s Word says concerning the office of Husband. When the Apostle Peter directs, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” He is reminding husbands that their wives have been given an office by God that places them in a subordinate position to them. It would be very easy for the husband, corrupted by the sinful flesh as he is, to take advantage of his headship and the wife’s position of subordination to him. He is to “be considerate” of the position that God gave her and be husband to her in selfless love. Although they are not in the same office, they are, nevertheless, equal “heirs of the gracious gift of life” in Christ Jesus. If he does not believe that, then his prayers, which include the ministration of his office as a husband will be “hindered.” The essential disposition of the husband to the wife is contained in the passage from Colossians: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Here the husband’s office is depicted as the office of Christ to His bride the Church, as it is also in Ephesians 5. Christ loves His bride by laying down His life for her and covering her sins with His blood. He is never harsh with her who is “bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, but nourishes and cares for her as His own body.” The office of husband finds its identity in Christ, the Church’s Bridegroom.

CP240421

Catechism: Table of Duties—Of Citizens

April 14, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — “‘God’s Purpose’ to which we are called is faith and salvation in Christ. His ‘good and gracious will’ for those whom He has made His own in Holy Baptism is that we be preserved in His Word and faith until we die. There are many things in our lives that war against faith in Christ and tempt us to turn away from Him. God promises to work in every circumstance of our life, especially hardship, suffering, and tragedy, for our ultimate good. It is always the devil’s will to use these things to destroy our faith. It is always God’s will to work in every circumstance of our life to strengthen our reliance upon Christ.” [Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition, p. 184a]CP240414

Catechism: Of Civil Government

April 7, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — The Sufficiency of God’s Grace — “Every Christian “knows the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” because it is proclaimed to us in the Gospel. It is the pure, undeserved, sacrificial love of Jesus that moved Him to become one with our flesh and weakness, and to suffer and die for our sins. We know and believe in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. It is this grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that moved Him to do what He did for us—to become man, to humble Himself, to suffer, and to die for the unworthy and undeserving. Though He was ‘rich’—the holy, eternal, omnipotent Son of God who shared in the Father’s glory from eternity and through whom the Father made all things—yet for our sakes He became ‘poor.’ This is love. He set aside His power and glory as the eternal Son of God and became man, humbling Himself to the point of bearing the sin of the whole world in His own body upon the cross and dying for us that we through His poverty—the poverty of His humble conception, birth, and accursed suffering and death—might become rich, partakers of His divine life. To become rich in Christ is to share eternally in the grace of God and to become partakers with Jesus of the immortal and incorruptible life that He won for us in His humiliation, suffering, and death. This is the promise of eternal salvation for all who believe in Jesus. This grace of God is also the source of our faith and life as we await the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” [Excerpt from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist edition, p. 94c]CP240407

Catechism: The Creed—Second Article

March 31, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Christ, Our Passover Lamb — “Christ is explicitly named the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world by the shedding of His blood upon the cross. The Old Testament Passover was a type for the slaughter of Christ upon the cross and the eating of His body and blood in the Lord’s Supper. In the Lord’s Supper we feast upon the true Passover Lamb of God for the forgiveness of our sins. His blood sets us free from the bondage to sin, the condemning force of the Law, and the power of Satan. In this passage, ‘old leaven’ is a reference to sin. Sin is to be ‘purged’ by contrition and repentance that we might become ‘unleavened’ of forgiven in Christ.” [Excerpt from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition, p. 280a)CP240331

Catechism: What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors (second half)

March 24, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 31: A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Comfort for the Lord’s Deliverance — “Since He is our God and Savior, since He has redeemed me from all sin, death and the power of the devil, THEN I can be confident that He hears my prayers for His deliverance and I will give thanks to Him for the assurance of His answer to my prayers!” Confidence in God’s promises of deliverance rests in what Jesus has done for us in His death and resurrection. Christ is, therefore, the One who gives certainty and confidence to our prayers! In Psalm 31 we can hear Jesus’ own prayers. He faced every challenge for us! He endured in the confidence that His Father in heaven was His refuge and strength! And the Lord heard His prayers. In His suffering, persecution, and death, Jesus confidently commended Himself to His Father in heaven: “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; Deliver Me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute Me.” We pray these same prayers through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and in the full assurance of faith, because we are joined to Him. It is for Jesus’ sake that we commend ourselves to God: “For You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.”

 As Jesus prayed these words with confidence from the cross, we are enabled to pray them with confidence in Him and in His redemption.CP240324

Catechism: The Table of Duties—What the Hearers Owe Their Pastors

March 17, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Psalm 43: A Prayer for the Light of God’s Word to Draw Us to Faithful Worship—Psalm 43 is a briefer version of Psalm 42. The psalmist is distraught. He is pursued by the ungodly nation and those who despise his faith. He prays for vindication, that the Lord God would fight for him with words: “plead my cause!” As he is tormented by his enemy and those whose accusations are troubling his soul, his prayer rests upon the assertion: “You are the God of my strength!” At the center of Psalm 43, the psalmist prays for the light of God’s Word of truth to be sent forth for him so that he is led to return to the holy hill of the Lord in faithful worship. Unless the light of God’s Word calls us to repentance and faith, we cannot worship God faithfully or make sense of our lives. It is God’s Word that teaches us to delight in Him and to desire Him above all things. It is God’s Word that gives us wisdom, teaches us to confess, and animates our song of praise. “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy: and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.” The prayer resolves with the confident assertion: If we have God on our side in Christ Jesus our Lord, then we have nothing to fear.CP240317

Catechism: To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers

March 10, 2024

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — “All Scripture Is Given by Inspiration of God” – “The origin of the Holy Scriptures is the Holy Spirit. He is the ‘breath of God’ by which all Scripture has been ‘inspired’ or, literally, ‘breathed by God’ into the men who wrote the sacred texts. For this reason, the Scriptures are said to be ‘inspired’ by God and, therefore, ‘inerrant’ (without error). Although this passage refers most specifically to the Old Testament Scriptures, the Apostle Paul is also catechizing the Church concerning the divine and authoritative nature of the apostolic Scriptures of the New Testament and the use of all Scripture in the Church.” [Excerpt from Lutheran Catechesis: Catechist Edition, p. 42c] CP240310