Home > Ransacking the Lost Treasures of the Lutheran Church > Laetare–Summary of the Gospel (John 6:1-15). Bugenhagen

Laetare–Summary of the Gospel (John 6:1-15). Bugenhagen

cranach_johannes_bugenhagenUsually it’s the negative effects of internet and communication technology that occupy my attention.  Like an old man I shake my head when I see people glued to hand-held screens every spare moment.  I regret the loss of letter writing and the gain of status updates about a friend of a friend of a friend’s latest trip to Burger King.  I feel a chronic uneasiness about the power now held by government and intelligence organizations–and corporations and advertisers–to read my mail, track my online activity, and profile me in order to work on making me a better consumer or citizen.

But there are incredibly positive things too.  There are all these great old books available for free on the internet; possibly lost, valuable information.  That is increasingly possible in regards to early modern and pre-modern works of theology and piety, which are likely to be overlooked in a world like ours in which there are fewer Christians with the patience for spirituality and theology with depth, and fewer scholars who have the erudition and the faith necessary to make a person willing to spend time on these texts instead of tossing them aside as antiquated.

I just found another old book online which contains Bugenhagen’s summaries of the Gospels, which no doubt was composed for common Lutheran preachers to use as a reference.  They are pithy (surprising, given Bugenhagen’s reputation for preaching too long, which Luther frequently jokes about).  And they are gems.  Here’s the one for Laetare.

Laetare, 4th Sunday in Lent

St. John 6:1-15


Christ feeds and provides for those who obey/follow the Gospel. They must have enough, for their stomachs too, Matthew 14. Man’s reason seeks and hopes to receive nourishment from its own provisions, by its own power. Thus, Andrew said, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what is that among so many?” Other examples like this in the Scriptures are many: Numbers 1, 2 Kings 4.


Christ fled when they wanted to make Him king. Likewise, we should also be afraid of the world’s honor. Before we can preach well, or do some other good work, we should certainly resort to prayer, as we would if we were undergoing the greatest and most perilous attacks by Satan or were in the greatest need and distress. We must pray that we would not be blinded by the devil or the world through our greed for honor, for otherwise this would indeed easily happen, Proverbs 17.


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