More Lessons from Luther
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:4-5
In March 1522, Martin Luther returned from his seclusion at the Wartburg Castle where he was in hiding and busy with his work on translating the New Testament into German. Months after his return to Wittenberg, he would publish what has been called his “Little Prayer Book,” a series of prayer to help shape the devotional lives of the homes. Like his translation work, this was a conscientious move by Luther to move the Reformation from the university to the congregation and to the homes of the parishioners.
More than 500 years later, it is still important to provide resources to shape the devotional lives of families today. From the hymnal to the Small Catechism, there are countless tools to assist parents and individuals in their home devotional life. Our hope is that prayers and the reading of God’s Word would not be a time that is confined to an hour on Sunday, but part of the rhythm of each day in every home. The primary influence in the retention of young people in the Church as adults is the parents’ role in shaping the faith of children in the home.
Luther’s example of assisting families in their devotional lives is still maintained today through Concordia Publishing House and the work of countless pastors, teachers, and servants who develop resources to accompany families of all shapes and sizes in their study of God’s Word and prayers for God’s people. While there may be other “Lutheran anniversaries” that seem more significant than the publishing of Luther’s “Little Prayer Book,” it marks a monumental shift to focusing on the place of Christ in the home and not just in the congregation. May God bless your home as you heed Dr. Luther’s example in devoting yourselves to God’s Word and prayer.
Prayer – O holy and most merciful God, You have taught us the way of your commandments. We implore You to pour out Your grace into our hearts. Cause it to bear fruit in us that, being ever mindful of Your mercies and Your laws, we may always be directed to Your will and daily increase in love toward You and one another. Enable us to resist all evil and to live a godly life. Help us to follow the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and walk in His steps until we shall possess the kingdom that has been prepared for us in heaven; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan