To Parents: Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4) Table of Duties, SC
In the Table of Duties, found in the back of the Small Catechism, Dr. Martin Luther directs each reader to his vocation. That is, how each can be faithful servants of the Lord in what he does and how he lives. It’s easy to read today’s portion of the Table of Duties and run to our parents to remind them of what Dr. Luther says. We like to remind our parents of how much they exasperate us, and how they really shouldn’t do so. After all, Dr. Luther even says so!
Such thinking though, as fun as it may be at first, ignores the rest of the “duty” the Lord has set aside for our parents. The Lord made parents in order to make children, and children are made to grow the Kingdom of God. This is evangelism at work!
When you were born, your parents took you to church and brought you to be baptized. At your Baptism the congregation spoke the words of the Apostle’s Creed, declaring the faith into which you were baptized Then your parents promised before God and all who were present to bring you up in that faith. And to make sure they do their job, special people were chosen to keep an eye on you--your sponsors. If, something should ever happen to your parents, then they have promised they will teach you the faith into which you were baptized.
Your parents did all of this so that you might receive the forgiveness of sins. In baptism you were saved, connected to His Cross and redeemed by His blood. Jesus made you His own, and declared that the child your parents brought to the font was now His—a Christian.
Your parents continued their duty by taking you to Confirmation class, sometimes kicking and screaming. They did this so that Jesus might place His very precious Body and Blood into your mouth and belly. Thus your sins would be forgiven as oft as you eat and drink of Him! Your parents brought you up “in the training and instruction of the Lord,” and the Lord delivers Himself to you. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Oh, blest that house where faith is found And all in hope and love abound; They trust their God and serve Him still And do in all His holy will. (LSB 862.2)