Congregational Catechesis and the Small Catechism
“Lord, help us ever to retain The Catechism’s doctrine plain As Luther taught the Word of truth In simple style to tender youth.”
How well do you know the Bible and what it teaches? This was a question that Luther sought the answer to nearly ten years after nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of the church in Wittenberg, effectively beginning the Reformation. From 1526-1528, Luther visited common area churches in what is known as the Saxon Visitation, to consider what pastors and people knew of Scripture and the Reformation. What he found both pleased him and heavily disappointed him.
He found people free of the Roman Catholic slavery to the Law and sacramental system of merit which was wonderful. But, he also found people were free of Scripture and the Gospel entirely and unable to articulate even the basics of the Christian faith such as the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. In an attempt to provide a solution to the problem, Luther wrote the Small (and Large) Catechism in order to teach the basics of the faith and the Word of God.
He wrote it in a simple, easy to teach and learn method of questions and answers that put the Word of God in the mouths of the people. What he taught was not in addition to Scripture, but in agreement with it and reflect the truths of the Bible. There is no difference between the Bible and the Catechism, but they say the same thing. The Catechism (coming from the Greek word for resound or echo) literally means and does echo back the Word of God teaching what it says about the Commandments, the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. This six chief parts of the Catechism teach us what God says in the Bible about the basic elements of the Christian faith.
So, how well do you know the Catechism? Whether the answer is not at all or that you have it all learned by heart, we ought to continue to keep it before us just as we continue to keep the Bible and the Word of God before us as the Catechism teaches the Bible. This was Luther’s intention for the Small Catechism, as he explains in his preface to the Small Catechism (which you really ought to read), that it should be taught “year after year.”
Luther calls upon pastors, reminding them of what God has called them to do and their ordination vows (1 Tim. 4:13), in a desperate and gravely serious plea to teach their people. So as I have vowed before God and men at my ordination, I am trying to do the thing God and you have called me to do, which is both to preach and teach God’s Word by putting before all of us God’s Word as explained in the Catechism.
So, before each Sunday service, we will recite a portion of the Catechism together. We will recite the same portion for a month, before taking up the next portion in the following month. We have broken down the Catechism and its six chief parts into 24 portions so that we would repeat the entirety of the Catechism every two years. This should help us to learn the Catechism and the basics of the Christian faith in a timely manner (rather than taking 3 or 4 years) while making each portion manageable (short enough to learn easily).
This should help us not only to learn the Catechism and the Christian faith by heart, but also give us a vocabulary to talk with our neighbors and give a defense (explanation) of the faith. By continuing to repeat it, I pray it begins to roll of the tongue without having to think about it (like 1+1=2), helps us to talk about the faith, and in grains in us trust in the Promises of God.
In the teachings of Christ,
News & Notes
Sunshine Circle News
The ladies meet each Thursday morning to quilt, work on banners for the sanctuary, and have devotions. Please join them when you are able!
Annual Cookie Walk
will be held Dec. 15 from 9am to 11am
2018 Church Council
President: Eric Trisler
Vice President: Jim Sharich
Secretary: Sharon Butler
Treasurer: Linda Blasa
Properties: Bob Hall
Stewardship: Tim Butler
Youth: Rick Whyers
Social Committee: Joan Brown
Worship: Rick Angel
Altar Guild: Deb Basham
Tim Van Hoveln
The Youth have decided to go to Higher Things at Concordia University, Mequon, WI. from July 16-19, If any confirmed youth or confirmed member would like to go, please see Pastor for a registration sheet. Registration sheets are due back before Jan.1.
The order forms and payment envelopes are in the narthex. Flowers are $8.00 each and may be ordered until Sunday December 10th.
Bible Class We continue our Bible 101 class on both Sunday and Wednesday. Join us as we discuss Genesis 37 and Joseph and his coat.
Catechesis continues Sunday nights at 6:00 p.m. Please pray for our catechumens.
Advent/Christmas Devotional Books are available in the narthex. The Higher Things Reflections offer daily readings and devotions for everyday of Advent and Christmas.
Congregational Catechesis in an attempt to refresh our memories of Luther’s Small Catechism, we will be reciting portions of the Catechism every Sunday prior to service. For more explanation, please read the Catechism insert or see Pastor’s December Anchor article.
A Simple Explanation books can be found in each pew. The Christian faith (Luther’s Small Catechism) and the Divine Service are explained briefly and simply. Please feel free to take these with you or grab a copy in the narthex.
Church Basement Ladies a Christmas Musical Comedy, will be held Nov. 8th – Jan. 6 at the Playhouse in WestPort Plaza, St. Louis. For more info, contact Joan or info is in office.
Advent Midweek Services will be held on Dec. 5th, 12th, and 19th at 7:00 p.m. The focus of these services will be the Ten Commandments.
Sunday School 8:30-9:15 a.m. All children are welcome – bring a friend with you — the more the merrier!
Bible Class 8:15-9:15 a.m. If you have never been before or haven’t been lately, join in the fellowship & learning. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
Divine Service 9:30 a.m. Come worship and give thanks for all of the gifts God gives us.
|Date||Divine Service/Lord’s Supper||Sunday School||Adult Bible Class|
At your service…
Lead: Jim Sharich
Assisting: Rick Whyers
Gary & Jan Kallal, Mary Ann Husmann
First Sunday: Rick Angel, Jim Manns,
Second Sunday: Rick Angel, Ed Basham,
Owen Roberts, Matthew Baecht
Third Sunday: Mike Roth, Rick Angel;
Randy & Travis Trisler, Jim Manns
Fourth Sunday: Eric Trisler, Kris McGuire
Tim Van Hoveln, Rick Angel
Fifth Sunday: Tim Van Hoveln, Travis Trisler
Our Church Family
December Prayer Partners
We pray particularly for these brothers and sisters in Christ:
Week of Dec. 2nd: Jim, Korri, & Tanner Ontis
Week of Dec. 9th: Alex & Whitney Hendricks
Week of Dec. 16th: Gary & Jean Pinkard
Week of Dec.23rd: Susy Pohlman
Week of Dec. 30th: Ed & Ella Jane Pointer
12/3 Sarah Mansfield
12/4 Karley Blasa
12/5 Ella Pointer
12/9 Bob Hall
12/9 Kurt Hall
12/11 Samantha Strubberg
12/12 Brienne Conklin
12/12 Norma Anderson
12/13 Trish LeBlanc
12/14 Austin (LeBlanc) Seymour
12/15 Erinn Hileman
12/18 Whitney (Ontis) Hendricks
12/20 Abigail Jacobs
12/21 Susy Pohlman
12/22 Jason Morgan
12/29 Roy Young
12/29 Billie Whyers
12/30 Hannah Greene
12/30 Nick Manns
12/30 Lincoln Morgan
12/31 Vance Miller
Dec. 9th Eric & Tina Trisler
Dec. 10th Gary & Jean Pinkard
Pastor Simek Cell: 618-410-9827, email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/HopeJerseyville/
Church Office 618-498-3423