December 6, 2007

Everyday Household Works

There is a place for organized social ministry, although perhaps we should call that what it really is - not ministry (in the narrow sense) or missions, but good works, works of mercy. What a church does cannot necessarily be seen by its programs or coordinated activities. As Luther points out in the Large Catechism, the good works Christians are given to do are "everyday household works." From the Conclusion of the Ten Commandments:

I am of the opinion, indeed, that here [i.e., in the Ten Commandments] one will find his hands full and will have enough to do to keep these commandments: meekness, patience, love towards enemies, chastity, kindness, and other such virtues and their implications [Galatians 5:22-23]. But such works are not of value and make no display in the world's eyes. For these are not peculiar and proud works. They are not restricted to particular times, places, rites, and customs. They are common, everyday, household works that one neighbor can do for another.
Taking "household works" a step further, the Christian will be occupied in being the best husband, wife, father, son, worker, etc. that he can be. These are the works that "serve the neighbor and supply the proof that faith is living."

No comments: