THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY II – WEDNESDAY
LESSON: ROMANS 14:5-12
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
The reason why excess is so frequent among men is that they do not just eat and drink, but gorge themselves and guzzle, carouse and gormandize, and behave as though it were a mark of cleverness or strength to gorge and guzzle. Their objective is not to become joyful, but to become mad and to be full. These people are pigs, not human beings. Christ would not have given such people wine or accepted their invitation.
In their adornment, also, such people have no consideration for a wedding but to show themselves off, and to prance around as though the strongest are the best. They are loaded with gold, silver, and pearls, and do their best to wear as much silk and fine clothes as possible. Donkeys and blockheads could easily do the same.
How, then, is moderation to be determined? Reason should be our pride here. We should follow the example of other lands and cities where such excess is not the order of the day. Each one according to his estate! So also with food and drink and other similar matters. Is it sin to have music and dance at a wedding, seeing that it is claimed that there is much sin in connection with dancing? I do not know whether the Jews danced; but because it is customary among us, just as inviting guests, adornment, eating, and being joyful is customary, I cannot condemn dancing if it does not involve any excess or become lewd. If it involves sin, it is not the fault of the dancing itself. People can sin sitting at table or even in church! So also with eating and drinking. If dancing were sinful, it would have to be denied even to children.
AE 76, 241
PRAYER: As your children in Christ Jesus, O Lord, you have given us all things for our happiness and enjoyment. In this connection grant us the moderation and a sense of what is fitting and proper, so that our lives may always be happy and joyful in all good conscience. Amen.