Friday of Pentecost 19
5 October 2018

Hans Luther was educating his son Martin to become a lawyer. He sent him to the University of Erfurt with the expectation that young Martin, upon becoming a successful lawyer, would be able to support his parents in their old age. Hans was bitterly disappointed when Martin left his legal studies and chose to enter the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt to search for a gracious God. In this act the seeds of the Reformation were scattered in the soil of Germany, later to bear fruit through Luther's teaching at the University of Wittenberg.


As Luther better understood God's Word and his divine will, no doubt, it became apparent to him that his choice of vocation in joining the monastery also represented a rebellion against the fourth commandment; that he had not properly honored his father and his mother. There was no divine command that the monastic life should be taken up as a holy vocation, while the fourth commandment quite clearly connected obedience to parents and authorities with a holy life.


In the medieval era, many people ran off to Compostela or other shrines on pilgrimage quite sure that they could earn God's grace by their extraordinary works. They neglected their callings of father, mother, citizen, laborer, or employer, etc. in favor of these pilgrimages, which had no divine command. God had commanded obedience to parents in the fourth commandment and this command could not be superseded by all this running around to Compostela or Jerusalem on pilgrimage. Our pilgrim road is directed by the ten commandments. Now there is a pilgrimage worth going on.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"Now, the honor a child owes to a father and mother is owed by all who are included in the household. Therefore, manservants and maidservants should be careful to be obedient to their masters and mistresses. They should also honor them as their own fathers and mothers and do everything they know is expected of them, not forced and unwillingly, but with pleasure and joy because...it is God's command and is pleasing to Him above all other works. They ought to pay for the privilege and be glad that they may get masters and mistresses so that they may have such joyful consciences and know how they do truly golden works. This is a matter that has been neglected and despised till now. Instead, everyone ran-in the devil's name-into convents or to pilgrimages and indulgences, with loss of time and money and with an evil conscience."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism,

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. (ESV)
Lord Jesus Christ, you have shown us that the way of righteousness is in the Word of God. Keep us from running out after ways of holiness that you have not ordained, but faithfully show obedience to our parents and other authorities. Amen.
For Reynold Kunz who is hospitalized with an infection, that the Lord Jesus would grant him healing and a full recovery
For Pastor Christopher Ahlman and all the men traveling to Memorial's men's retreat this weekend at Camp Lone Star, that they would kept safe in their travels and they would have good fellowship and fine learning
For persons suffering from clinical depression, that they might cast all of their burdens on the Lord Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today and forever
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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