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Like Son, like son

October 23, 2013 No Comment

by Thomas Prachar


Rev. Thomas Prachar

“Like father, like son,” the saying goes. Well, not so much in my case. Oh, to be sure, there were some physical similarities between me and my father. (One likeness I hope doesn’t occur is in the hair department: he referred to his growing baldness as his “seven hairs in eleven rows.”)

But I differ from my father in many ways. His God-given gift was fixing cars. The closest I come to fixing a car is to call CAA. My father was good at woodworking. I, on the other hand, must profess along with Bill Cosby that everything I tried to make in high school “shops” class turned into an ashtray. My father was adept at repairing appliances, tinkering with this or that to make it work again. I take what is broken to the repair shop, or else throw it away and buy another. My father could rarely sit still, but would always be busy puttering around the house or working in the garden. I, on the other hand, could be content to sit and do nothing for long stretches of time. In many ways, I am not my father’s son.

And if we flip the coin over, my father would have had great difficulty crafting a sermon much less speak it before a group of people. I love to read books, but my father usually read only the newspaper. I have a few education degrees that I could list after my name. My father never finished high school. In many ways, I am not my father’s son.

As we remember and celebrate Martin Luther’s reformation of the church, we know that Luther was not like his father, either, at least in his vocation. Hans Luther was a miner digging copper from the hills around Eisleben, Germany. He noticed the scholastic ability of his son, and wanted young Martin to become a lawyer. But how differently life turned out as Luther quit law school to become a monk, and later a Roman Catholic priest. It was through his study of Holy Scripture that he turned the church of his day upside down. He tried to reform it by making much-needed changes based on God’s holy Word. In so doing, he had a church denomination named after him. The lives of this father and son—Hans and Martin—couldn’t have been more different.

But I am very much like my father, even as Luther was very much like his father, and his father before him, when it comes to one very important trait: we are all sinners, alienated from God by our own sinful pride, wanting nothing of His goodness to us. We bear the image of our first parents, Adam and Eve. In fact, the Bible tells us: “Adam…fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth” (Genesis 5:3). Not only did Seth resemble Adam physically, but he also bore Adam’s sin. We bear that original sin they passed down to us.

The good news for us today is that Jesus was His heavenly Father’s Son in every way. While being true God, Jesus kept God’s Law perfectly as true Man. Then He offered that perfection by dying in our place—the complete sacrifice God demanded for sin. His subsequent resurrection from the dead proved that God had accepted that sacrifice for us.

We now share Jesus’ status: “like Son, like son.” We are now heirs, receiving from Christ the blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation that He earned for us.

We now share Jesus’ status: “like Son, like son.” We are now heirs, receiving from Christ the blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation that He earned for us. By God’s grace (His undeserved love), we are now children of our heavenly Father. We receive this gift by faith. And as He has promised, we will abide in His house, the mansions of heaven, forever. It is a place reserved for His heirs. It is reserved for you and me, His sons and daughters. That is the Reformation truth Martin Luther passed on to us. Thanks be to God!


Rev. Thomas Prachar is President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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