May 25, 2016 - Centuries-Old Wisdom
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Centuries-old Wisdom
 
From time to time, we do well to listen to the wisdom from those who have gone before us. For as the Scripture tells us, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV).

As we approach the 500
th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, we can benefit from what our fathers in the Faith were thinking and writing in honor of the 400th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. At the 1917 Synodical Convention, the Synod commissioned the production of the Concordia Triglotta, the Book of Concord in German, Latin, and English. 

When the Triglotta was completed in 1921, F. Bente wrote these words in the preface:

"The Lutheran church differs from all other churches in being essentially the Church of the pure Word and unadulterated Sacraments. Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms, and so forth, but the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.

"Whenever the Lutheran Church ignored her symbols or rejected all or some of them, there she always fell an easy prey to her enemies. But wherever she held fast to her god-given crown, esteemed and studied her Confessions, and actually made them a norm and standard of her entire life and practice, there the Lutheran Church flourished and confounded all her enemies.
Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her Confessions and constantly be on their guard lest anyone rob her of her treasure. To strengthen this loyalty and to further facilitate the study of our “Golden Concordia,” – such is the object also of this Jubilee Edition – the Triglot Concordia.

"May God be pleased, as in the past, so also in the future, to bless our Church, and graciously keep her in the true and only saving Christian faith as set forth and confessed in the Lutheran symbols, whose paramount object is to maintain the gem of Luther’s Reformation, the blessed doctrine of salvation by grace only, which most wonderfully magnifies the great glory of our God, and alone is able to impart solid comfort to poor sinners." (excerpted from the Preface to Concordia Triglotta, 2nd Reprint, Northwestern Publishing House Milwaukee, WI)

It is the sincere hope and prayer of the member congregations of the ACELC that as the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation approaches, we in the LCMS will hear the words of men like Bente and become united in our understanding of, and dedication to “the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures” because they “constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.” Please join us in our prayer and in the conversation.

And speaking of joining us, we have already set the date for our next Free Conference, “Christ For Us: Service of Women in the Church,” a look at God’s intended plan and purpose for His created order, which will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska August 29-31, 2017. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us in Lincoln next August for what promises to be a most excellent Conference.

Also, if you would like to read any of the papers or watch any of the presentations from this year's Free Conference, "Christ For Us: Dispute Resolution," you can find them here.

Rev. Dan Freeman,

Pastor, Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Chehalis, Washington
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