October 21, 2020
289. Week of Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity - Monday
Validity of Absolution
          If I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes I forgave it in the person of Christ.   2 Corinthians 2:10
          My dear Christian, when considering and meditating upon what the Word of God says concerning the Office of the Keys, what, then, must be your faith, what, then, must be your attitude with respect to the public administration of this office as performed by the pastor of your congregation? You must then say with all your heart: I believe that when the called minister of God deals with us by His divine command, this is as valid and certain, in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself. If your pastor does anything without the command of Christ, then it is of no value. But when he does something by the command of Christ, then he does this in the person of Christ; and then this is as valid and certain, and is fully as valid in heaven also, as if Christ our dear Lord, did it Himself. When the pastor preaches the Gospel in its truth and purity, this is just as valid and certain as if Christ Himself stood there and preached. It is the same with Baptism and the Lord's Supper. And also with holy absolution. When your pastor pronounces absolution, or forgiveness of sins, to you, then this is just as valid before God in heaven as if Christ, our Lord, Himself pronounced the absolution to you. Remember, the pastor does this in the place of the congregation, in the person of Christ. If, in the due order prescribed by Christ, the pastor retains the sins of a manifest and impenitent sinner and excludes him from the Christian congregation, then this, too, is as valid and certain before God in heaven as if Christ, our Lord, had done it visibly, in person. And it is the same when the pastor again absolves such an excommunicated person, and forgives his sins to him and when the congregation again receives him into membership, that is, after he has repented of his sins and is willing to amend. Will you consider all this well?
          PRAYER: - Lord Jesus, I thank You that for our, Your Christians', benefit and consolation You have instituted within the congregations the holy ministry through which You are present in person, to distribute the treasures of Your grace. I pray You to preserve such ministry in truth and purity among us and among our children. And grant us, O Saviour, Your Holy Spirit, that we make proper use of such ministry for the strengthening of our faith and for our eternal salvation. Amen.

Second Part : Catechism Lessons
October 21, 2020