The bible is big. Imagine if you had to read and master everything it contained before becoming a Christian. Just reading the 31,000+ verses in 1,189 chapters of the 66 books takes most people multiple years to accomplish. In the process, most people become disheartened and confused as to what much of it means and how it relates to God’s grace and mercy in sending Jesus to save us from our sins.
It would be very helpful if we had a “roadmap” or that provides a summary of the most important concepts of our faith. Something not too long that summarizes the chief teachings of the Bible about the Christian faith, how we practice our faith and what God’s will is for how we live in the world. It would be a great to help others learn what the Christian faith is and what it’s most important teachings are. Such a resource could also be used as a devotional tool to remind us of God’s mercy toward us and our duty toward Him and our neighbor.
Fortunately there is a small, compact summary of the Christian faith that has been in use for hundreds of years. It’s a handbook that outlines the chief teachings of the Christian faith in an easy to understand format.
Pastor Shawn Stafford has written a short essay describing the many benefits of this handbook entitled, “The Small Catechism: The Christian’s Book for Life.“. He also points out the many versions of this resource that are now available.
For those that like the feel of paper, there are full copies of Luther’s Small Catechism in booklet format on the Welcome Center. The cover describes exactly what it contains, “A Handbook of the Christian Faith.” Please feel free to take one to use for private study and family devotional time. And, of course, if as you do questions arise, contact Pastor Dent.
Also, I encourage you to JOIN US for our “Back to Basics” study of the Catechism to be held May 20th, 2012 from 10AM – 3PM. Sign up on the sheet on the kiosk to let us know you’ll be there. During the class we will go through the entire contents of the Small Catechism as an introduction to what we believe, teach and confess. Come with your questions!