The Mutual Conversation of the Saints

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The Mutual Conversation of the Saints

The church’s confessions remind us of the great gift of the Gospel’s “mutual conversation” given to brothers and sisters in the Lord. Through the Gospel, the Lord is always bestowing His gifts upon the church. In this way, the Holy Spirit has the Gospel proclaimed in the church’s preaching and sends it forth in the Sacraments. This same Gospel then goes forth in the conversations we have with one another. Although Satan would bring damage to the church with his conversations of secrecy and accusation, the Lord keeps building us up with his Gospel. So, in the article on the Gospel, the Smalcald Articles speak of these 5 things,

1. The proclaimed or preached word of the forgiveness of all sin,
2. The gift of Baptism, which cleanses us of all sin,
3. The Body and Blood of our Lord, sanctifying us,
4. The spoken declaration of sins-forgiven in Absolution (the keys), and,
5. The mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren.

Smalcald Articles, IV. The Gospel:
We shall now return to the Gospel, which offers council and help against sin in more than one way, for God is surpassingly rich in his grace: First, through the spoken word, by which the forgiveness of sin (the peculiar function of the Gospel) is preached to the whole world; second, through Baptism; third, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar; fourth, through the power of the keys; and finally, through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren. Matt. 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered,” etc..

This “mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren” is the conversation we have with and for each other, a conversation based solely upon the Gospel of all sins forgiven. This is the Lord using us to bring peace and comfort to one another. [2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-5]

Two Short Prayers for the Christian Family to Pray for the Blessed Church
Adapted from Prayers Written by Martin Luther

READ: ACTS 2:29-42
Dear Lord, give grace to all preachers profitably and blissfully to proclaim Christ and Your Word in all the world. Grant that all who hear Your Word preached may learn to know Christ, and actually find life through Him. Exclude from Your holy Church all strange doctrines, and preaching in which Christ is not made known. Be merciful to all bishops and ministers, and all in authority, that they may be enlightened by Your grace, and rightly teach and lead us by words and good examples. Protect all who are weak in the faith that they may not be misled by the wickedness of those in authority. Amen.

READ: JOHN 17:1-12
O Lord, although you are justly angry with us on account of our sins, you have never yet deserted the human race altogether. From among men who have looked to you for all blessings and comfort, you have always preserved a Church for yourself, whose habitation and refuge you have every been. Dear God, keep us and your little flock, that we may escape the bitter wrath, and be found among those who honor and serve the humble Christ, and gladly await the judgement with the blessed, at his right hand. In His Name we pray, Amen.

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