Blessed Feast of Mary, Mother of Our Lord Day – The Lutheran Confessions on Honoring the Saints, by Pr. Rossow

Whenever a saint day falls on a Sunday we at Bethany – Naperville, Illinois celebrate it with the propers for the day. I have learned that while some churches chase after all sorts of trends for liturgical and pericopal variety (40 Days of Purpose, emergent moods with dark and candles, the bouncing ball on drop down screens, etc.), we find sufficient variety in the various liturgies and feast days of the Lutheran Service Book

We were treated to a wonderful sermon by Associate Pastor Stephen Schumacher that focused on how Mary knew her place before God as a sinner and how she modeled the life of vocation for us. The introduction of the sermon included this excellent quote from the Lutheran Confessions that teaches us the threefold manner in which we honor the saints.

4] Our Confession approves honors to the saints. For here a threefold honor is to be approved. The first is thanksgiving. For we ought to give thanks to God because He has shown examples of mercy; because He has shown that He wishes to save men; because He has given teachers or other gifts to the Church. And these gifts, as they are the greatest, should be amplified, and the saints themselves should be praised, who have faithfully used these gifts, just as Christ praises faithful business-men, 5] Matt. 25:21, 23. The second service is the strengthening of our faith; when we see the denial forgiven Peter, we also are encouraged to believe the more that grace 6] truly superabounds over sin, Rom. 5:20. The third honor is the imitation, first, of faith, then of the other virtues, which every one should imitate according to his calling. 7] These true honors the adversaries do not require. They dispute only concerning invocation, which, even though it would have no danger, nevertheless is not necessary. Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Article XXI, from bookofconcord.org.

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