Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Invocavit: Call to Him Wednesday"--Lenten Devotion

Invocavit greetings in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to all you freinds and readers of Laughing Martin:

Along with the church catholic throughout her generations, our Lutheran churches have "Called to Him" who is the One true God, and prepared for Easter Day's baptisms and the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord by praying and meditating on our catechisms' confession and explanation of the chief parts of Christian doctrine that form our Faith.

As we pray and meditate upon what our dear Lord's Holy Word has to say about us sinners and our Savior, we fast from the appetites of this world and our flesh and our pursuit of happiness in satisfying them.

Our Lutheran churches, again along with the church catholic throughout her generations, have used Sunday's lectionary propers (that is, the the liturgical verses such as the Introit and Gradual; the Scripture readings; the hymnody; and the prayers) in the weekly devotional and catechetical life of their weekday congregational and family worship practice.

With this as prescription and model, our 2012 Lenten midweek worship services at Trinity combine the liturgical verse, Scripture reading, hymnody, and prayer of the previous Sunday's Divine Service with responsive recitations from The Lutheran Book of Concord that treat a major theme of those lectionary propers.

Contrary to the folk wisdom born of our familiarity with sin and its effects that, "familiarity breeds contempt," when it comes to God's Word and our faith, familiarity breeds faith.

The Invocavit Wednesday Order of Compline (Prayer at the Close of the Day) with the responsive recitation of the Confessions treating the article of Original Sin begins following my signature line. If you would like a Word document of this material, please include your eamil address in a request via the comment forum on this blog.

God grant that these Lenten services of fasting, meditation, and prayer will free us of our sinful appetites and prepare us to be presented before our Lord as empty vessels to be filled with His Holy Spirit through the Baptism, Preaching, Absolution, and Communion of His Word in Christ Jesus.

Your Laughing Little Warrior in Christ,
Isaac Martin, aka Laughing Martin, aka Izzy Abaldy II

February 29, 2012

“O Lord, throughout These Forty Days,” LSB #418

P: When he calls to me, I will | answer him;*
I will rescue him and | honor him.
C: With long life I will sat- | isfy him*
and show him my sal- | vation.
He who dwells in the shelter of the | Most High*
will abide in the shadow of the Al- | mighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my | fortress,*
my God, in | whom I trust.”
Because you have made the LORD your | dwelling place—*
the Most High, who is my | refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to be- | fall you,*
no plague come | near your tent.
You will tread on the lion and the | adder;*
the young lion and the serpent you will trample | underfoot.
Glory be to the Father, and | to the Son*
and to the Holy | Spirit;*
as it was in the be- | ginning,*
is now, and will be forever. | Amen.

P: When he calls to me, I will | answer him;*
I will rescue him and | honor him.
C: With long life I will sat- | isfy him*
and show him my sal- | vation.

“In Adam We Have All Been One,” LSB #569

SCRIPTURE READINGS: OT Reading ...... Genesis 3:1–21
Epistle ………...... 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Gospel ...……....… Matthew 4:1-11



P: 1 Our churches teach that since the fall of Adam [Romans 5:12], all who are naturally born are born with sin [Psalm 51:5], that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with the inclination to sin, called concupiscence. 2 Concupiscence is a disease and original vice that is truly sin. It damns and brings eternal death on those who are not born anew through Baptism and the Holy Spirit [John 3:5].

C: 3 Our churches condemn who deny that original depravity is sin, thus obscuring the glory of Christ’s merit and benefits. argue that a person can be justified before God by his own strength and reason.


P: 33 Original sin is like a spiritual poison and leprosy, as Luther says.
It has poisoned and corrupted the whole human nature.

C: So we cannot show and point out to the eye, human nature by itself or original sin by itself.

P: Nevertheless, there is the corrupt nature, or essence of the corrupt
person (body and soul—the person himself) whom God has created.

C: (Original sin dwells in a person. It also corrupts the nature and
essence of the entire person.)

P And there is original sin, which dwells in human nature or essence and corrupts it.

C: They are not one and the same thing.

P: For example, in outward leprosy the body that is leprous and the leprosy on or in the body are not one thing, properly speaking. But a distinction must also be maintained between our nature as created and preserved by God (in which sin is indwelling) and original sin (which dwells in the nature).

C: These two things can, and must, be considered, taught, and believed separately according to Holy Scripture.

P: 34 Furthermore, the chief articles of our Christian faith drive and
compel us to preserve this distinction. For instance, in the article of
creation, Scripture testifies that God has created human nature not only before the fall, but that it is God’s creature and work also since the fall. (See Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 45:11; 54:5; 64:8; Acts 17:25; Revelation 4:11.)

35 Job says:

C: Your hands fashioned and made me, and now You have destroyed me altogether. Remember that You have made me like clay; and will You return me to the dust? Did You not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and Your care has preserved my spirit. [Job 10:8–12]

P: 36 David says:

C: I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:14–16)

P: 37 In the Ecclesiastes of Solomon it is written,

C: “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

P: 38 These passages clearly testify that God, even since the fall, is the creator of mankind. He creates his body and soul. Therefore, corrupt mankind cannot, without any distinction, be sin itself. Otherwise, God would be a creator of sin.

C: Our Small Catechism also confesses this in the explanation of the First Article, where it is written:
I believe that God has made me and all creatures. He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them.

Likewise, in the Large Catechism it is written:
This is what I mean and believe, that I am God’s creature. I mean that
He has given and constantly preserves for me my body, soul, and life, my
members great and small, all my senses, reason, and understanding.

P: Nevertheless, this same creature and work of God is sadly corrupted by sin.

C: For the material from which God now forms and makes man was corrupted and perverted in Adam and is thus passed along by inheritance to us.

P: 39 Here pious Christian hearts justly ought to consider God’s unspeakable goodness. God does not immediately cast from Himself this corrupt, perverted, sinful material into hellfire.

C: No, He forms and makes the present human nature from it (which is sadly corrupted by sin) in order that He may cleanse it from all sin, sanctify, and save it by His dear Son.

P: 40 From this article, the distinction is now clearly and indisputably
found. Original sin does not come from God.

C: God is not sin’s creator or author. Nor is original sin God’s
creature or work, but it is the devil’s work.

P: 41 If there was no difference at all between the nature or essence of our body and soul (which is corrupted by original sin) and original sin (by which the nature is corrupted) one of the following would be true: because God is the creator of our nature, He also created and made original sin, which would also be His work and creature. Or, because sin is the devil’s work, Satan would be the creator of our nature, of our body and soul. They would also have to be Satan’s work or creation if, without any distinction, our corrupt nature was thought to be sin itself. Both of these teachings are contrary to the article of our Christian faith.

C: 42 Therefore, in order that God’s creation and work in mankind may be distinguished from the devil’s work, we say that it is God’s creation that a person has body and soul. Also, it is God’s work that a person can think, speak, do, and work anything. For “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). But human nature is corrupt. Its thoughts, words, and works are wicked. This is originally Satan’s work, who has corrupted God’s work in Adam through sin. From Adam, sin is passed down to us by inheritance [Romans 5:12].

P: 43 Second, in the article of Redemption the Scriptures testify
forcefully that God’s Son received our human nature without sin. So He was in all ways—sin excluded—made like us, His brethren (Hebrews 2:14–17). Therefore, all the old orthodox teachers have maintained that Christ, according to His received humanity, is of one essence with us, His brothers.

C: For He has received His human nature, which in all respects (sin alone excluded) is like our human nature in its essence and all essential attributes. They have condemned the contrary doctrine as obvious heresy.

P: 44 If there were no distinction between the nature or essence of corrupt mankind and original sin, one of the following must be true: Christ did not receive our nature, because He did not receive sin. Or because Christ received our nature, He also received sin. Both of these ideas are contrary to the Scriptures.

C: God’s Son received our nature, and not original sin. Therefore, it is clear from this fact that human nature (even since the fall) and original sin are not one and the same thing. They must be distinguished.

P: 45 Third, in the article of Sanctification Scripture testifies that God cleanses, washes, and sanctifies mankind from sin [1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 John 1:7] and that Christ saves His people from their sins [Matthew 1:21]. Sin, therefore, cannot be a person himself.

C: For God receives a person into grace for Christ’s sake. But God
remains hostile to sin eternally. …

P: 46 Fourth, in the article of the Resurrection Scripture testifies that
precisely the substance of our flesh, but without sin, will rise again
[1 Corinthians 15:42, 54–57].

C: In eternal life we shall have and keep precisely this soul, but
without sin.

P: 47 If there was no difference at all between our corrupt body and soul and original sin, one of the following would be true (contrary to this article of the Christian faith): our flesh will not rise again at the Last Day, and in eternal life we shall not have the present essence of our body and soul, but another substance (or another soul), because then we shall be without sin. Or ‹at the Last Day› sin will also rise again and will be and remain in the elect in eternal life.

C: 8 It is clear that this teaching (with all that depends on it and follows from it) must be rejected. For it is asserted and taught that original sin is the nature, substance, essence, body, or soul itself of corrupt mankind. It is taught that between our corrupt nature, substance, and essence and original sin there is no distinction whatever. For the chief articles of our Christian faith forcefully and emphatically testify why a distinction should and must be maintained between mankind’s nature or substance (which is corrupted by sin) and the sin (with which and by which mankind is corrupted)….

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P: O Lord God, You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide the people of Your Church
C: that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” LSB #656

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