Divine Service ~ July 31, 2016 ~ The 11th Sunday after Pentecost (The 4th Commandment)
Commandments four through ten describe relationships with our fellow humans. Here Luther's understanding of "vocation" is apparent. Vocation comes from the Latin vocare, meaning "to call." God calls everyone to certain roles—or stations—in life. In this commandment, Luther describes our duty before God to honor father and mother, that is, to respect authority. God instituted all forms of authority as an extension of parental authority, for our good. There are various parental authorities, or "fathers," in our lives, including pastors, teachers, and government officials. Another insight by Luther is about the life of good works to which Christians are called. We should not regard "Church work" as more holy than the other things in life that we routinely do. Rather, all callings and stations in life serve God and are are opportunities for us to obey God's commandments and to serve our neighbor. The key observation Luther offers is this: faith is what makes a person holy. Faith alone. Good works serve God by serving other people.
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