Luther’s small catechism is central to my instruction of youth in my congregation. We still have the kids memorize large chunks of it (with varying degrees of success), and we use it to teach the basics of the Christian faith. It is simple, well-done, and after nearly 500 years is still one of the best way of teaching anyone the truth of God’s Word.
I have thought that it might be nice to preach on sections of the Catechism and not just teach about it to young people. The thing is, I’ve never really done that. I’ve never found a way to work it in, in these four and a half years I’ve had in my congregation.
Over at the Blog of St. Mark, I read this quote about the season of Lent:
Lent wasn’t always about commemorating the Passion of our Lord. It began as the last dash to Baptism and Holy Communion for adults in the early Church. In later years, when there were less adult converts, the focus of Lent shifted to the Passion of Christ. Liturgical scholar Frank Senn writes, “Thus Lent became a time when the whole church returned, as it were, to the catechumenate, and in which the whole church, as it were, entered the order of penitents” (Christian Liturgy: Catholic and Evangelical, Fortress Press, 1997, p11).
(On a side note, Liturgical scholar Frank Senn, was it really necessary to use the phrase “as it were” twice in one sentence? Really?)
The rest of the post talks about a Lenten sermon series on the catechism that will be going on in some of the WELS congregations in Texas. Check it out. I probably won’t be doing that during this Lent, but I’m definitely keeping it in mind for the future. I like the idea!