A Reading from the Book of Concord 3 year series May 3, 2009 - Fourth Sunday of Easter
Standard LSB B Readings: First: Acts 4:1-12 Epistle: 1 John 3:16-24 Gospel: John 10:11-18 Psalm: Psalm 23:1ff 6
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the LSB Gospel, John 10:11-18 for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 3, 2009.
It is from Preface of the Smalcald Articles, paragraphs 3, 10-11, pages 259,261.
Martin Luther never completely gave up the hope that the Roman Church could be reformed by Scripture. Luther was concerned for the spiritual welfare of the poor members who were being denied the opportunity hear the voice of the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for them.
The Roman court is terribly afraid of a free Christian council. They are ashamed to be exposed to the light. The Roman court has dashed the hope, even of those who are on their side, that they will ever permit a free council-much less hold one themselves. Many on the pope's side are greatly offended and rightly troubled at this negligence. They would rather see all Christendom perish and all souls damned than allow either himself or his followers to be reformed even a little or to have their tyranny be limited.
I would like to see a truly Christian council, so that many people and issues might be helped. Not that we need help. Our churches are now, through God's grace, enlightened and equipped with the pure Word and right use of the Sacraments, with knowledge of the various callings and right works. So, on our part, we ask for no council. On such points, we have nothing better to hope or expect from a council. But we see throughout the bishops' jurisdictions so many parishes vacant and desolate that it breaks our heart. Still, neither the bishops nor the Church officials care how the poor people live or die. Christ has died for them, and yet they are not allowed to hear Him speak as the true Shepherd with His sheep [John 10:11-18]. This makes me shudder and fear that someday He might send a council of angels upon Germany who will destroy us like Sodom and Gomorrah for wickedly mocking Him. (paragraphs 3, 10-11)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.