Author Topic: A Service of Prayer and Lament  (Read 3174 times)

readselerttoo

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2016, 10:06:15 PM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice. 

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2016, 03:17:39 AM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

readselerttoo

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2016, 07:50:56 AM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.

Team Hesse

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2016, 08:26:33 AM »
As is also true of the "rich young ruler" of Mark 10. Ears only for the law need to hear the law in its full impact. There is no salvation there, only accusation.


Lou

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2016, 08:29:24 AM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.

I am regretful of starting this thread.  Going to bed several nights ago with the knowledge of two men killed and waking up to hear of five police officers killed was overwhelming.  As I said to someone (with my liturgical hat on) I may not have chosen all of those hymns, but the communal sense of worship brought me peace. 

The words of Pastor Charlton and a conversation with a police officer in town made me realize that perhaps this service was a bit too hasty.  Prayer - yes, judgment - no. 

My pastor has certainly addressed issues such major issues in his sermons without becoming political.  Several weeks ago, right after Orlando, he was away for our Saturday night service and a neighboring pastor did politicize the tragedy making it one of gun control.  I hope all our pastors keep politics out of the pulpit this current tragedy and do not blame this on racism.  As I said earlier on this thread, police officers have a split second to make a decision - a decision that could affect whether the officer lives or dies -- and the public has decades to analyze it. The Minnesota governor has already judged and condemned the officer.  Let us not do the same but pray for those who have lost their lives and not pronounce judgement on our police.  Let us not teach our congregations, especially our children, to fear - even hate - authority.   This will be investigated by professionals in law enforcement.   

Does this happen more frequently to Black people?  I would think so.  But this is a generational problem that exists in the realm of the social psychology of the Black community and that underlying is what needs to be addressed.  Just skimming the surface, people in these communities need hope.  They need parents - two of them.  We need to support the family structure across all races, not tear it down.  President Obama had eight years to offer hope in pointing to not only himself, but two AG's, countless congressmen and women, and police chiefs in large cities, many of whom are Black.  He had the opportunity to offer a vision of what could be - not for all, but for some - but at least a vision. That wasn't the road he chose.  But, again, so much of this goes to family structure or the lack of it.  Rather than address this, our leaders, such as the one in Minnesota, chose to separate races by fueling the flame of discord.

 

 






Team Hesse

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2016, 08:41:25 AM »
When issues like this arise, I find myself being drawn to the end of Joshua 5. "Are you for us or against us?" "No, but I am the commander of the Lord's army. Now I have come."


Maranatha,


Lou

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2016, 09:37:06 AM »

The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently... Minnesota...

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dave Benke

It is ignorant statements like that, including Mark Dayton's shortly after the shooting, that foment hatred and violence, resulting in the deaths of police officers and others and violent protests like the one in St Paul last night, about a mile from where we are staying.

As to gun buy-backs, as shown the last time you touted your action, they do little but make the hosts feel good about themselves.

Lord have mercy.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 09:45:26 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Team Hesse

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2016, 10:34:13 AM »

The families of those killed needlessly and recklessly by police officers, most recently... Minnesota...

St. Peter's has hosted two "Gun Buy-Back" events, one the week after Officer Figoski was killed, and the other a week after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dave Benke

It is ignorant statements like that, including Mark Dayton's shortly after the shooting, that foment hatred and violence, resulting in the deaths of police officers and others and violent protests like the one in St Paul last night, about a mile from where we are staying.

As to gun buy-backs, as shown the last time you touted your action, they do little but make the hosts feel good about themselves.

Lord have mercy.


Indeed, the quick to judgment folks need to revisit Luther's Large Catechism, the eighth.....particularly the "do you smell the roast?" portion.


Lou

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2016, 11:03:56 AM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.


I disagree. I don't think that the problem is the law. Interestingly, the First Reading paired with the Good Samaritan, Deuteronomy 30:9-14, includes these sentences: "This commandment that I'm giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn't unreachable.… Not at all! The word is very close to you. It's in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it." (vv. 11, 14 CEB) Besides Deuteronomy 30, Amy-Jill Levine (Short Stories by Jesus) also points out Leviticus 18:5: "You must keep my rules and my regulations, by doing them one will live, I am the LORD." (CEB) She writes: "The imperative 'do' focuses not on a single action, but on an ongoing relationship.… The point is to 'live now' and not be focused on 'eternal life.'" (p. 83) I note that the commands in the parable "do this" and "do likewise" (vv. 28, 37) are present tense that imply ongoing or repeated actions, e.g., "keep on doing this."


The lawyer's problems are: (1) as we used to say: "he was so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good," and (2) (mis)using the law to try and justify himself.


Either God's word in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are true, or God lied. We are expected to do it. "By the pursuit of which human beings shall live" to use the Jewish Publication translation of Lev 18:5). We are to live by them. A Jewish annotation on this says: "The Torah affirms life. By obeying God's law, humankind lives well and meaningfully - and will be rewarded by long life. Nachmanides thinks the phrase refers to such legal sections as in Exodus 21-23, which provide for an orderly and peaceful society. Luzzatto takes it as alluding to the provisions of this chapter, the restrictions of which constitute the basis for stable and happy family life)." (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, pp. 776-777). I believe that Luther affirms this understanding through the first use of the law. Obeying the law is necessary for an orderly and peaceful society - including one's homelife. Luther states that we can obtain a measure of civil righteousness. When the law is used as a means of justifying one's self before God, it always accuses (the second use). 
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2016, 11:19:10 AM »
I encourage all to read some articles closer to the situation and get both sides of the story.

http://www.twincities.com/

For example, I wonder how many folks, nationally, know that the Minnesota police officer is a person of color? I am glad that the Ramsey County Attorney, also a person of color, has taken a less reactionary approach, not jumping to conclusions and waiting for the MN BCA to do it's job, complete their investigation, and go from there.

http://www.twincities.com/2016/07/08/philando-castiles-death-prosecutor-needs-time-to-decide-on-grand-jury/
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 11:37:12 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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readselerttoo

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2016, 02:16:51 PM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?


As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.


The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week. What you pastors saying about it? We are the ELCA. It certainly is in my sermon based on the Good Samaritan text. One of the points in the parable is racism. There's no other reason for Jesus to make the third man a Samaritan. The normal three-some in some OT passages is priest, Levite, and Israelite. Amy-Jill Levine suggests that it's like hearing Larry and Moe, and our minds now expect Curley; but when the third man is Osama bin Laden (her illustration) or a member of ISIS (mine), it gives the jarring effect that "Samaritan" would have Jesus or Luke's Jewish audience.


How do blacks and whites learn to become neighbor to each other? How do civilians and police learn to become neighbor to each other? I believe that in most communities and among many, many people, they already are. How do we together get rid of the evil that is on the road beating up and robbing travellers?


The parable of the Good Samaritan is also addressed to a lawyer who is seeking self-justification in his dealings with a neighbor.  It is not being addressed to the disciples.  Jesus is saying that if you only have ears for the law here is how you deal with the neighbor.  And you better be dealing with the neighbor this way totally and all the time. Yes, if you only have ears for the law, as the lawyer does, "Go and do likewise."   BTW, the law always accuses.


I disagree. I don't think that the problem is the law. Interestingly, the First Reading paired with the Good Samaritan, Deuteronomy 30:9-14, includes these sentences: "This commandment that I'm giving you right now is definitely not too difficult for you. It isn't unreachable.… Not at all! The word is very close to you. It's in your mouth and in your heart, waiting for you to do it." (vv. 11, 14 CEB) Besides Deuteronomy 30, Amy-Jill Levine (Short Stories by Jesus) also points out Leviticus 18:5: "You must keep my rules and my regulations, by doing them one will live, I am the LORD." (CEB) She writes: "The imperative 'do' focuses not on a single action, but on an ongoing relationship.… The point is to 'live now' and not be focused on 'eternal life.'" (p. 83) I note that the commands in the parable "do this" and "do likewise" (vv. 28, 37) are present tense that imply ongoing or repeated actions, e.g., "keep on doing this."


The lawyer's problems are: (1) as we used to say: "he was so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good," and (2) (mis)using the law to try and justify himself.


Either God's word in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are true, or God lied. We are expected to do it. "By the pursuit of which human beings shall live" to use the Jewish Publication translation of Lev 18:5). We are to live by them. A Jewish annotation on this says: "The Torah affirms life. By obeying God's law, humankind lives well and meaningfully - and will be rewarded by long life. Nachmanides thinks the phrase refers to such legal sections as in Exodus 21-23, which provide for an orderly and peaceful society. Luzzatto takes it as alluding to the provisions of this chapter, the restrictions of which constitute the basis for stable and happy family life)." (The Torah: A Modern Commentary, pp. 776-777). I believe that Luther affirms this understanding through the first use of the law. Obeying the law is necessary for an orderly and peaceful society - including one's homelife. Luther states that we can obtain a measure of civil righteousness. When the law is used as a means of justifying one's self before God, it always accuses (the second use).


Yes, a measure of civil righteousness but righteousness only before the face of others.  This does not validate before God's face.  I think that you are mingling the issues of the law with those of the gospel here.  Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable is speaking to a lawyer and others who only have ears for the law.  THe parable is not addressed to the disciples, et. al.  You are not paying attention to the context, imo.   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin.  You speak as if the Hebrew Scriptures have the same validity for us as the New Testament.  They don't. 

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2016, 02:24:45 PM »
Reflecting on this in light of tomorrow's Gospel, it seems we have shown how easy it is to create Samaritans, people to fear and loath.  Both political parties have sought to exploit distrust.  Some would have us believe that all undocumented immigrants are violent criminals and that all Syrian refugees are terrorists.  Others would have us believe that all white Americans hate black people and all police are racists who want to murder blacks.  Does the Church have anything to say to this situation, or do simply choose sides in the culture wars?

As an institution like any other, ELCA's public voice will have a political bias.  It is what it is.  However, ELCA's public voice ought to arise above this and make sense of what the cross is all about and why the church proclaims it.  If it is not doing this it must return to its unique and specific mission to proclaim that Christ has brought something far different from just peace and justice.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, but my question was intended to imply an affirmative.  Yes, we have something to say to this situation! 

Who is my neighbor?  Jesus Christ, the one who ministered to me when I lay beaten, stripped naked, and nearly dead at the hands of sin, death, the devil and my own sinful flesh.  What shall I do?  Go and do likewise.  Preach the Gospel of the one who has the power to overcome evil.  Have the same mind among yourselves that was in Christ Jesus.  (The Good Samaritan is Law when seen as an example of good works, Gospel when seen as the mission of the man who was often called a Samaritan.)

I don't think the temptation to choose sides in the culture ways is a problem specific to the ELCA.  Instead, it seems nearly universal.  I think it is partially responsible for the decline of the Church in the United States.  Liberal and conservative churches have both fallen victim to this temptation.

By the way, we need to address all of the things I mentioned earlier, immigration, refugees, racism, police reform, but without the tendency to make others into the hated Samaritan.  And distinguishing between the work of doing justice and the preaching of the Gospel.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 02:37:43 PM by DCharlton »
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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2016, 02:35:08 PM »
The ELCA's public voice is heard in thousands of pulpits each week.

Yes.  Our primary public voice should take the form of preaching the Law and the Gospel to our culture.  That's what I sought to do today.  Hopefully, with God's help, I did so. 
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readselerttoo

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2016, 02:47:31 PM »
When we or others question the law and those who enforce it, we are actually spitting into God's face.  Those who do not let the legal system run its course are interfering with God's management of his righteousness.  Certainly we have opinions but when opinion is taken to the streets it can be misused.  In some places this is happening today in America.  Recent events confirm for me that history is not progress but struggle of the stong over the weak, etc.  And if the weak are the winners, they become the new strong and can overwhelm opposition.  It leads to more oppression and inequity.  Come Lord Jesus!

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Re: A Service of Prayer and Lament
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2016, 07:24:09 PM »

Yes, a measure of civil righteousness but righteousness only before the face of others.


That's what civil righteousness is.



Quote
This does not validate before God's face.


I never said it did.


Quote
I think that you are mingling the issues of the law with those of the gospel here.


I didn't say anything about gospel, only the two uses of the law. One promotes civil righteousness: order and harmony in society - and we can achieve a measure of civil righteousness; the other convicts of sin. Neither makes us righteous before God.

Quote
Jesus in the Good Samaritan parable is speaking to a lawyer and others who only have ears for the law.  THe parable is not addressed to the disciples, et. al.



By including the story, Luke wants all of us to hear it. There is nothing wrong with the Law. It is God's Word to us and for us. The problem is when we (mis)use to make ourselves righteous before God. Luke makes that clear when he adds a narrator's comment in 10:29, "He, wishing to justify himself, said …." It is this desire to justify one's self by obedience to the law that is the problem. Not the Law itself.


Quote
You are not paying attention to the context, imo.   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin." 


Nope, I've read over the passage and the context a number of times, and it never says, "with the law comes the knowledge of sin." You're pulling that in from some other context. It's not in the parable, nor the context around it. Luke's use of νόμος is pretty slim. In chapter 2 (vv. 22, 23, 24, 27, 39) the holy family is pictured as one who obeys the Law. It's never seen as accusing them of sin, but rituals that they practice. In 10:26 Jesus asks about what is written in the law and how does the lawyer interpret/read it. (Interpreting it as a means of self-justification is wrong. Interpreting it as ways of showing mercy to neighbors is good.) It occurs twice In chapter 16, where Pharisees seek to justify themselves (16:15). Jesus talks about the Law and the Prophets that were in the past, but now there is also the good news of the kingdom (16:16). However, the Gospel doesn't abrogate the Law and the Prophets, because immediately Jesus says: "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the law to drop out."


Quote
You speak as if the Hebrew Scriptures have the same validity for us as the New Testament.  They don't.


That's only true if you're a Marcionist. Jesus seems quite clear that nothing, not even a small mark of the pen, of the law is to drop out. For Jesus and the apostles, the Old Testament was their Scriptures. See Jesus' use of "Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms" in Luke 24:44.


Luke's issue is about using the law as a means of self-justification. He is clear that Mary and Joseph were very good at obeying the Law. If the Law were not important (as properly used) Luther would have no reason to put it first in the Small Catechism. Luther expects us to help and support our neighbors in all of their needs (5th Commandment). It's not given just for us to feel bad about failing to do it; but it is also given to encourage us to obey it. Otherwise, we become like the priest and Levite who walk by on the other side of the road.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 07:32:55 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]