Advent Preaching Workshop on Prayer, Meditation and Trial

The Christ candle sits in the foreground while in the background a pastor preaches an Advent sermon.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTSFW)— “Take care,” Dr. Martin Luther wrote in his preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther’s German Writings, “that you do not grow weary or think that you have done enough when you have read, heard, and spoken [God’s word] once or twice, and that you then have complete understanding. You will never be a particularly good theologian if you do that.” The study of Scripture, according to Luther, requires prayer, meditation and trial, and thus he named his method of theological study using three Latin words: oratio, meditatio and tentatio.

On November 7, Professor John T. Pless, assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSFW), Fort Wayne, will lead an Advent Preaching Workshop on “Prepare the Way–A Sermon Series Based Upon Oratio, Meditatio, Tentatio.” The workshop will explore Luther’s understanding of his famous triad, structuring three Advent midweek sermons around each word. Liturgical materials for each week will be provided, along with suggestions for homiletical approaches that connect oratio, meditatio and tentatio to the First, Second and Third Petitions of the Lord’s Prayer in Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms.

Midweek I will connect oratio with the First Petition, Midweek II will connect meditatio with the Second Petition and Midweek III will connect tentatio with the Third Petition. Prior to the workshop, participants should read Luther’s “Preface to the Wittenberg Edition of Luther’s German Writings, 1539” (AE 34:279-288) and Praying Luther’s Small Catechism by John T. Pless, pp. 51-77.

The presentation will begin at 1:30 p.m., break from 5:00–6:00 p.m. for dinner (included in the cost of registration), and then resume from 6:00–7:30 p.m. Attendance is $40, and you can register online by going to For more information, contact Nayva Mulder at 260.452.2224 or