The year 2017 marks the anniversary of 500 years since the Reformation. In honor of that anniversary, our mid-week Lenten services are built around Luther’s Small Catechism. The original intent of the small and large Catechisms was as a teaching tool. Specifically, a tool to teach families about faith. Luther intended that faith would be taught at home, by the parents of children. So he created a small catechism, a teaching tool, to be used as simple explanations of the ten commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. Luther also included morning prayers and evening prayers and suggested ways for families to worship, praise and revere God during each part of the day.
During our mid-week Lenten services we will do just that. As a family of God, we will gather together each week to learn about the faith. Through scripture, Luther’s small catechism, songs and prayers, we will reflect on what it means to be uniquely Lutheran. Studying the catechism will offer a way of growing closer to God by thinking on God’s word and the basics of our faith.
I hope you will join your brothers and sisters in Christ as we gather each week to review the basics of our faith. We are never too old or too young to learn about Jesus’ love for us.
Lent is often described as a journey. It has a beginning and an end. In the beginning we receive the imposition of ashes and remember we are dead in sin. By the end of the Lenten journey we have made our way through the Sundays and mid-week services which prepare us to enter into Holy Week. Traditionally this journey takes five weeks. It is a practice, a deliberate way of marking the time, preparing ourselves for what will happen to Christ. Join us as we journey from death to life, walking together in faith. Trusting that our journey will lead us to strengthen our faith as we make our way through the challenges and changes of life. Pastor Kristine
Martin Luther’s Prayers
As we focus on the Luther’s teachings this Lenten season, consider using the prayers Luther wrote for morning and evening. Martin Luther was a heart a teacher, always wanting his students to learn….we are no exception!
THE MORNING BLESSING
In the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, you are to make the sign of the holy cross and say: “God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over me. Amen.” Then, kneeling or standing, say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
If you wish, you may in addition recite this little prayer as well: “I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
After singing a hymn perhaps (for example, one on the Ten Commandments) or whatever else may serve your devotion, you are to go to your work joyfully.
THE EVENING BLESSING
In the evening, when you go to bed, you are to make the sign of the holy cross and say: “God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over me. Amen.” Then, kneeling or standing, say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
If you wish, you may in addition recite this little prayer as well: “I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected me today. I ask you to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously to protect me tonight. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
Then you are to go to sleep quickly and cheerfully.
The children and the members of the household are to come devoutly to the table, fold their hands, and recite:
“The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living creature.”
Then they are to recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following prayer: “Lord God, heavenly Father, bless us and these your gifts, which we receive from your bountiful goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Similarly, after eating they should in the same manner fold their hands and recite devoutly: “Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good, for God’s mercy endures forever. God provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they cry. God is not impressed by the might of a horse, and has no pleasure in the speed of a runner, but finds pleasure in those who fear the Lord, in those who await God’s steadfast love.”
Then recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following prayer: “We give thanks to you, Lord God our Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord for all your benefits, you who live and reign forever. Amen.”
“Luther’s Small Catechism with Evangelical Lutheran Worship Texts.”
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