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Luther Statue

17 July 2006
  The Lord Will Answer

About a month ago I was having one of those deep conversations with a family member. She said that in her bible study class, the question came up, "What happens when we die?" Someone then commented that if one put the question to a group of ministers they may not all come up with the same answer.

Today the topic came up in my prayer book, "The Lord Will Answer," published by Concordia Publishing House. I received it during Holy Week and have been using it daily.

Each daily page has a small excerpt from Luther's Small Catechism and a prayer. The section I'm in also contains doctrinal points and scripture to back the points up. The prayers come from church sources of all different times. I've seen prayers written by Luther, Gerhard, Columba of Iona, C.M. Zorn, Serapion of Thumuis, Loehe, Augustine, and Walther; other times the prayers have been drawn from the Liturgy of Addai and Mari, the Mozarabic Liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, and others.

Each page uses the liturgical calendar to avoid getting out of sync. "Monday, Pentecost 6" covers part of the Third Article. The topic is, "What happens to my soul or spirit when I die?" The page quotes Ecclesiastes 12:7, Luke 23:43, John 17.24, Philippians 1:23-24, Revelation 14:13 and concludes:
We believe: God gives eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. At the time of death, the soul of a believer is immediately with Christ in heaven.
I was happy to see my answer affirmed in my conversation; I had remembered Luke 23:43, "today you will be with me in paradise."

Since I started reading this in the middle of the year, I found it initially uncomfortable to see only part of an explanation to an article on a particular page. I had been trained to learn the explanations completely. Including the complete article on every entry would have made this a very thick book, though. :)

In addition to the daily prayers and catechesis, The Lord Will Answer includes key dates of the church year, the entire Small Catechism and indicies for general prayers and for prayers for special needs. Each section has a lithograph by Albrecht Dürer.

This book makes a great gift for the newly confirmed, but I still get something out of it every day. It is worth it to take a minute it out of every day and relearn things that keep one in the faith. It's also fun to look up some of the people; I'd never heard of Columba or Serapion. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone.

Originally posted on Necessary Roughness on July 17, 2006.

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