Full Text for Confessions 2- Volume 41 - The Table of Duties (Video)

ROUGHLY EDITED COPY LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS LC2 41 Captioning Provided By: Caption First, Inc. P.O. Box 1924 Lombard, IL 60148 800 825 5234 www.captionfirst.com *** This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. *** >> DAVID: Did I miss something along the way? Is everything that you talk about in the chart? >> DR. KOLB: Well, actually, I missed something, David. We didn't get to the text yet. Luther simply called this household chart, the chart for the household. And by household he means the place where you sort of live out your daily life. It's interesting how he subtitles it. "For all kinds of holy orders and walks of life." In the Middle Ages the monks thought they were in the holy orders. And so Luther is saying all walks of life, all situations in life, every place God puts us is really a holy situation for serving him and serving the neighbor. And so he said, "This is a chart that brings Bible passages to bear on every part of our life for all kinds of holy orders and walks of life. Through which and through which means the Bible passages through which Bible passages people of God may be admonished for with lessons pertinent to their offices and duties." That is, to what they're to the roles or positions to which they are called and the functions of those roles. And so I like to begin by talking about family life, occupational life, community life, and congregational life because it's so easy for us to think that the church, the sacred activities are the most important. If Luther was to say that any of the four walks of life has a kind of priority over the others, then the fourth commandment, as you notice as you read the explanation or the sermon on the fourth commandment in the large catechism, Luther says if the family doesn't work right, nothing else in society will work is well either. So there's a certain sense in which God's structuring of the way in which we live the family has priority. And it is true that, when the church is proclaiming the message of salvation, it is providing its people with what we need for eternal life. In most of the other activities though the family also brings the word of God to its children and in Luther's day to the servants living with the family in most of the other activities, and even in some of the activities of the congregation, we find that we're focusing on temporal needs and temporal activities. But there, when we do these things in faith, we are pleasing God. So Luther begins with words for pastors. And in the admonitions from I Timothy 3, he uses as one good example of the pattern for the life of a pastor. And then later he puts in the obligations that the people of God have to take care of their pastors and their teachers. Then he goes on to governing authorities. And uses Romans 13 as one of the New Testament passages which point out that God puts governing authorities in place but the governing authorities are to be God's handmaid. They are not to be tyrants. They in other words, he's laying down the law to governmental authorities saying you have tasks, but they're from God and you are to carry them out according to God's prescription. And then by 1542 he was adding a section on the obedience that subjects owe to their to their rulers. Then he talks about husbands and wives, parents and children and gives the pupils a few Bible passages to learn so that they have a basic orientation to what it means to be a parent, to be a child, to be a spouse. And, because particularly in the towns, the households of all the tradesmen and their families included, not only their own children but also servants and day laborers and the like, he provides some occupational tips for the servants and then also for the masters and mistresses who were running the cobbler's shop or the butcher's shop or whatever kind of business a family might have had. And then for young people in general and for widows and finally for all in the community, we are admonished to love our neighbors as ourselves and entreat God with prayers for all people. The original structure of the household chart suggests that Luther may have thought that you were primarily in one walk of life. Either you were a pastor or you were a ruler or you were a husband who was also the master and the parent. Later, it's clear that he saw that we all have roles and functions. We all have responsibilities or offices in each of these three or four walks of life. And, as he preached, particularly later in his career, on just how the Christian life functions, he included that message as well. So, again, he sees that we are called into a whole series of responsibilities in this finely woven tapestry of human life that our creator has put together and that our creator has renewed by sending his redeemed people into the world to live out the Christian life.