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If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,free; but Christ is all, and in all. 




Wednesday of Pentecost 8

6 August 2014

Where I come from the country folk have the wedding tradition called the "chivaree." The chivaree is conducted by the young friends of the groom. They follow the bride and groom to their marriage chamber, and harangue outside, singing and banging on pots and pans, until the groom provides a gift of money so that these noisy friends will go away (usually to buy, uh, Lutheran beverages). The noisy friends have no business being near the marriage chamber. The love shared by husband and wife ought not to be interrupted, not even, and especially not, by friends. The marriage chamber should be a quiet place where love may be expressed between husband and wife without disturbance.


This is exactly the view of Martin Luther about the relationship of the law to the life of the Christian in God's sight under the gospel. The bridal chamber where the Christian is hidden with Christ is no place for the law to take up its ugly harangue (Col 3:3). And even though the law has its place and is among our friends, it has no place making demands of us when we are nestled in the arms of our bridegroom, Christ. Our conscience needs never to listen to the harangues of the law as long as it stands with Christ. For the bridegroom has already paid off the law and sent it away. Now there is nothing but peace for our hearts together with Him.


The law has its place, but not on the heights with God's Son. It must remain in the valley where human relations must be governed and where old Adam must be throttled daily. The law tells us how to live in community and to have good order. However, it cannot tell us how to live with our bridegroom who has chased away the law and brought us to the quiet chamber of the church, where He gives Himself to us. Here the conscience is free and at peace. Here the law has no place. There is only grace and the gospel.


Martin Luther


"Paul shows (Gal 4:7) clearly that no terror, wrath, disturbance, or death, that is, no function or jurisdiction of the law, is to be permitted into the Christian conscience. Much less are the monsters and sacrileges of human traditions to be permitted. For in the matter of justification I must be ignorant of the divine law and not permit it to rule in any way over my conscience. Much less shall I permit my conscience to be dominated by the filth of the pope, regardless of how much he may 'roar like a lion' (Rev 10:3) and threaten that I shall incur the indignation of Almighty God. Here I must say: 'Law, your obedience will not penetrate to the throne where Christ, my Lord, is sitting. Here I will not listen to you. (Much less, Antichrist, will I listen to your monstrous teachings!) For I am a free man and a son, who does not have to be subject to any slavery or any law of slavery.' Therefore do not let Moses (much less the pope) enter the bridegroom's chamber to lie there, that is, to reign over the conscience which Christ has delivered from the law to make it free of any slavery. Let the slaves remain in the valley with the ass, and let Isaac ascend the mountain along with Abraham, his father. That is, let the law have its dominion over the flesh and the old self; let this be under the law. Let this permit the burden to be laid upon it. Let this permit itself to be disciplined and troubled by the law. Let the law prescribe to this what it should do and accomplish, and how it should deal with other men. But let the law not pollute the chamber in which Christ alone should take His rest and sleep; that is, let it not disturb the conscience, which should live only with Christ, its bridegroom, in the realm of freedom and sonship." 


Martin Luther,
Lectures on Galatians, 4.7

Lord Jesus, send away the law and bring us to the chamber of Your peace, that our consciences may ever rest quietly in You. Amen.


For Pastor Steven and Stephanie Cholak as they settle into a new home, that it would a sign of the heavenly home that awaits them


For those who are afraid to confess their sins because they do not know the teaching of forgiveness for Christ's sake, that messengers of Christ would lead them to know it


For President Ken Hennings of the Texas District, that he would be built up in the holy faith
Art: Dürer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 

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Memorial Lutheran Church | 5800 Westheimer Rd. | Houston | TX | 77057