The Bulwark of Family
Tuesday of Pentecost 19
2 October 2018
Larry Kudlow, a nationally syndicated columnist and now Director of the National Economic Council, wrote an article in which he pointed out that the single strongest predictor of economic success and cultural stability is the two-parent family. In other words, children that are reared in a home where mom and dad are married to each other and live together "until death us do part," have the best chance for a successful and stable future. And while, by God's grace, there are powerful and exciting exceptions to this basic fact, a two-parent family does more to give children the grounding they need for a successful life than any other single factor.
 
This statistically gleaned fact should come as no surprise to those who have read the Bible. God has established the home and family as the most basic building block of society's structure. The present decay in the most basic component of society does not bode well for the future of Western civilization. Concrete made with too much sand soon crumbles and no longer keeps the structure together that the engineer designed. As the concrete of family crumbles the levee of society and its basic structures begin to totter and threaten a catastrophic collapse. We should thank God for the gift of family and do all we can to support it structures in society. In so doing God's gift of family will hold back the filthy flood waters of anarchy and destruction that swirl just on the other side of the levee of the family.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"Here, then, you have learned the fruit and the reward, that whoever keeps the fourth commandment shall have happy days, fortune, and prosperity. On the other hand, you also have learned the punishment, that whoever is disobedient shall perish sooner and never enjoy life. For to have long life in the sense of the Scriptures is not only to become old, but to have everything that belongs to long life: health, wife, children, livelihood, peace, good government, and so on. Without these things this life can neither be enjoyed in cheerfulness nor long endure. If, therefore, you will not obey father and mother and submit to their discipline, then obey the hangman. If you will not obey him, then submit to the skeleton man (i.e., death). For God will insist on this in sum: if you obey Him, offering love and service, He will reward you abundantly with all good. If you offend Him, He will send upon you both death and the hangman."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,
1.134-36
Psalm 127

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
 
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
(ESV)
Prayer
Lord Jesus, as You were born into the family of Mary and Joseph, and have in Your own family life blessed ours, grant that we might treasure and support the gift of family, for the well-being of our children and our whole community. Amen.
 
For John Wagner, who will be undergoing surgery today, that the surgeon's hand would be guarded and guided by God, the giver of every good gift, and that John would recover fully his health and strength

For Bishop David Rakotonorina as he leads the Malagasy Lutheran Church in Madagascar, that the Lord Jesus would strengthen his confession of the truth and his leadership of his people
 
For wives and husbands who desire to have children but are presently unable, that the Lord would send the blessing of children to them in his own time and his own way
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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