Lectionary 14 C

Obedience and rebellion, trust and works. The relationships we have created through or different ecclesiologies constantly need to be examined for reform and also supported. I feel like I'm talking out of both sides of my face. Thankfully these are not my words, per se. 

Galatians 6:[1-6]7-16

Verses 6-7, along with Luke 10:7 below are cited in a footnote to The Small Catechism, Household Card: For Bishops, Pastors and Preachers (SC House.2) noting that these citations are included in some versions, but probably without Luther's knowledge or consent.

Verse 14 is cited in Formula of Concord, Epitome, Article 5: Third Use of the Law, Affirmative Thesis 3 (Ep 5.4) as an example of boasting in God's work in Jesus rather than some work from "their pious imagination in an arbitrary way of their own choosing" (Ep 5.4).

Verse 15 is quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 2: Free Will (SD 2.26) in a long list of scriptural quotes describing the work of the Holy Spirit, particularly emphasizing with this citation and others that the Holy Spirit makes us "a new creation" (Gal. 6:15).

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Verse 7 is described in the Galatians 6:6-7 note above.

[Jesus said,] “Whoever listens to you listens to me,
and whoever rejects you rejects me,
and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

- Luke 10:16

Verse 16 is cited several places. First, it's quoted in The Augsburg Confession, Article 28: Bishops/The Church's Power (AC 28.22) to show that Jesus calls those who would follow him to honor bishops--an interesting argument for us to remember.

Verse 16 is also quoted in Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article 7/8: The Church (AP 7/8.28) as a reminder that the efficacy of the sacraments is not dependent on the quality of the presider because the sacraments belong to Jesus. So when the sacraments are celebrated, we listen to Jesus, not the presider. A different, and I think more nuanced, reading of this verse than in the previous citation. This verse is quoted again later in the same article (AP 7/8.47) to show that Rome agreed with this point.

Verse 16 is quoted later in AP, Article 12: Repentance (AP 12.40) giving reason for finding comfort in individual confession and forgiveness when the confessor announces absolution. The voice of absolution we hear is not the confessor's, but Jesus'.

Finally, verse 16 is quoted in the parallel article AP from the AC citation above in Article 28: Ecclesiastical Power (AP 28.18-19), unpacking that reading of this passage. Luke 10:16 "cannot be applied to traditions. For Christ requires [bishops] to teach in such a way that he himself might be heard because he says "listen to me" (AP 28.19).

TheoThru

There is a temptation to just let the hierarchy of any institution make the decisions so we can just get on with our lives. The issue is that by not paying attention to what those in authority are doing, we create space for sin. But Jesus calls for trust. The question is--as always--who are we trusting?

  • How do we consistently point to Jesus' work in the sacraments?
  • How do we hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to proclaiming the gospel so that we can find comfort in God's work?