The Catechism and Preaching

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!

 

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5 thoughts on “The Catechism and Preaching

  1. Dan ~

    This is the second year we’ve done it for Lent as our rotation (saves a lot of moolah for the congregations, eh!). Last year we did the whole catechism, this year focusing on the Ten Commandments (and hitting other bits).

    I’ve also taken time to preach portions of the catechism on three other occasions:

    Twice for a series of Sundays in the Pentecost season (Baptism, Lord’s Prayer);

    last Advent for midweek services and Christmas Day (Holy Communion).

    I hope you find ways to incorporate catechetical preaching into your “rotation.”

    Grace and peace,
    Ben

  2. We’re actually doing this here in El Paso and Las Cruces NM this Lent. I think we’re using a very similar schedule to what you found. I, too, am finding the catechism to be much more useful than originally thought. The more I learn it and teach it, the more I am impressed by its simplicity, and at the same time, the most profound truths for our faith and life.

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