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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law part 48

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Romans 15:1–6

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning Love and the Fulfilling of the Law 

For concord ends up being torn apart whenever the bishops impose heavy burdens upon the people or have no regard for their weakness. Dissensions also arise when the people judge the clergy’s conduct too severely or despise them because of a minor mistake, thereafter seeking different doctrine and clergy. On the other hand, perfection in Church fellowship is preserved when the strong bear with the weak—when the people have patience with their preachers, and when the bishops make some allowances for the weakness of the people.

Pulling It Together

During a committee meeting, a brother suddenly spoke strong words against his pastor. There was silence in the room. People did not know how to respond. The pastor knew what to say. Nothing. He understood that his brother was struggling with other issues, and that the outburst came at a moment of weakness. He vented because he had reached the moment when he could no longer hold it all in. Days later, the man stopped by the pastor’s office, just to chat. It was his way of showing that Christian fellowship was still important to him. Harmony often depends upon a quiet answer (Prov 15:1) instead of proving who is right. Sometimes, concord does not even depend upon a calm answer but rather, no answer at all. In that silence, a greater voice may be discovered: the voice that does not demand to name which one is right but instead, a united voice that glorifies the name of the Lord.

Prayer: Give me your peace, Lord, so that I may be gentle and quiet when necessary. Amen.

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