2020: A Lutheran Life of Devotion
February 28, 2020
The theme for this year’s conference was chosen because, though we confess that God’s Word is our life and our salvation, still our old Adam tempts and coaxes us away from that Word. Many Christians did not grow up having daily devotions in their family. Many of us struggle to have daily personal devotions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge or experience that intimidates us so much that we don’t even begin, worried that we might do something wrong. Or perhaps it is simply that we haven’t thought daily devotions are that important if we go to church with some regularity. Or perhaps you and your family have daily devotions (personal and family), but you are looking for ideas to deepen or broaden your meditation.
Since Christians have been meditating on God’s Word since Adam and Eve, we don’t need to completely reinvent the wheel in the 21st century. Our presenters will cover three different time periods, investigating how they meditated, considering what thoughts and resources they left for posterity, and how we might learn from them.
Devotion in the Early Church
Devotion in the Reformation Era
The period of the Reformation not only shaped the doctrinal confession of its adherents, it also established a distinct piety among faithful Lutherans. That is, the Reformation taught them to pray. In the writings of Luther, his colleagues, and subsequent generations of Lutheran pastors, these Christians were given a way of prayer and devotion for use by individuals, families, and congregations. The primary manual for this devotional life is the Catechism. But their fervent meditation on God’s Word also brought forth hymnals, meditations, and prayer books which all contributed to rich devotional lives. These were built on the treasures inherited from the church of old, but still useful for their own time and for ours.
Presenter: Rev. Johann Caauwe
Rev. Caauwe is the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wood Lake, MN. Previously he has served parishes in Modesto, CA and El Paso, TX. Together with his wife Sara, they have nine children whom they teach at home. He loves to learn ever more about Lutheran hymnody, the historic liturgy and church year, the music of Bach, and classical education.
Presenter: Dr. Joshua Mears, Psy.D. LP
Dr. Mears is a Christian Psychologist who has practiced since 2011 with Christian Family Solutions. He has five years of experience working as an in-home therapist with adolescents and their families. During his work as a Christian Psychologist at CFS Dr. Mears has focused on the specialty areas of psychological testing, trauma restoration, and the treatment of addictions. Dr. Mears also serves as a member of the Board of Regents at Bethany Lutheran College and previously served on the Board for Youth Outreach of the ELS. He is an Elder and the Youth Group Leader at his local church, Heritage Lutheran in Apple Valley, MN. He is married to Laura and together they homeschool their four children; Magdalena (12), Josiah (7), Marie (6), and Kyrie (2).