On the Catechism . . .

During the Advent season we hear of John the Baptist and his proclamation of preparation and repentance. Therefore during this season, a catechism focus on the Ten Commandments is appropriate.

Ninth Commandment: You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor's inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

        No one should consider or intend to get what belongs to another . . . He should not take them even with a show of right, by a trick, or to his neighbor's harm. For above, in the Seventh Commandment, the vice is forbidden where one takes for himself the possessions of others or withholds them from his neighbor. A person cannot rightly do these things. But here it is also forbidden for you to alienate anything from your neighbor, even though you could do so with honor in the eyes of the world, so that no one could accuse or blame you as though you had gotten it wrongfully.

 [from: The Large Catechism, The Ninth Commandment §296
in Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, First Edition (Concordia © 2005), p 419]

Questions for self-examination: Am I discontent with what belongs to me? Do I crave something better, different, or more than what God has given me? Do I seek to satisfy the desires and appetites of my flesh at the expense of the well-being of others? Do I resent or envy those who have what I do not? Have I been stingy and self-indulgent with my money, trying to keep up with that others have?

Saint Athanasius Lutheran Church
Missouri Synod
Church Location: 114 Kingsley Road SW, Vienna, VA  22180
Mailing Address: 3057 Nutley Street Suite 822, Fairfax, VA  22031
703-455-4003                       Rev. James Douthwaite, Pastor