CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK— The Table of Duties: Faith Active in Love--“The Table of Duties teaches the baptized ‘how to live where God has called them in the freedom of the forgiveness of sins, with faith in Christ and love to the neighbor.’ The Table of Duties answers the questions: ‘Where do I live out my faith in Christ? How do I live my faith in Christ as a Christian in this world?’ The life of faith in Christ is lived in love toward others in our vocation: ‘Are you a father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker?’ (Confession). The Table of Duties addresses itself to these questions and the subject of ‘office’ or ‘vocation.’ An ‘office’ is authority extended to a person from God to function in this world in a particular way and for a particular purpose. Through this office he reflects Christ—the image of God—and His love to his neighbor. A Christian’s ‘vocation’ is the place or office to which God has called him to live out his faith in Christ. A Christian lives in his vocation or office by grace alone, and not by his own strength. His vocation is the calling to joyfully serve his neighbor in love, even as Christ laid down his life for him upon the cross. The strength to live faithfully in our vocations comes from the Gospel and sacraments of Christ, through which our faith in the forgiveness of sins is strengthened and the fruit of loving service toward others is born.” (Excerpted from Lutheran Catechesis, p. 9).
CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK—A Pledge of the Resurrection of the Body—The Lord’s Supper was, since ancient times, called “the medicine of immortality.” In the Lord’s Supper we receive Jesus’ true body and blood. This is the same body and blood that was born of the Virgin Mary and that was given and shed for us for the forgiveness of all our sin. “Where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.” It is precisely because the body and blood of Jesus delivers to us Christ’s forgiveness, that His body and blood becomes the source of restored life with God, the resurrection of our bodies, and eternal life, incorruption, and immortality. When we receive Jesus’ true body and blood in faith, we are receiving the very pledge from our Savior that on the last day we shall be raised bodily from the dead, and our mortal flesh will put on immortality and incorruption.
CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE WEEK–This is My Body–In the Lord’s Supper Jesus gives us His body to eat and His blood to drink. The Sacrament of the Altar rests upon the Word of God. Jesus’ words give what they say. The power and benefits of the Sacrament are given through the Word. Take away the Word and there is no Sacrament. With the Word, there is a Sacrament, namely, “the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself, for us Christians to eat and to drink.” What role does faith play in the Sacrament? Faith receives what the Word says. Faith believes in what the Word gives. Faith rests upon the promises of God. The essence of the Sacrament, that is, “what it is,” is determined by the Word. This gives faith its certainty. We know we receive the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins, because the Word says so. Faith knows no other certainty but the promises of the Gospel.
Luther's Small Catechism
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