Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent Devotional Introduction

Lent 2021 Introduction - Pastor Belt

The Small Catechism again?  That is the topic that we will focus on for Lent?

You bet.  My argument is that none of us know it well enough.  I myself read it monthly, I have it read and sung in my car radio about 4 times a week (it takes about an hour to play through), I teach it in confirmation, and run through it cover to cover with about a dozen people every year, and I still don’t know it as well as I would like.  So, if I do not know my small catechism as well as I should as a pastor and teacher of it, how much more worried am I about you?

After all, the more you learn about the catechism, the basics of our faith, the more you will see that you know nothing at all and that God must continue to teach us.

Few, of course, realize this because they think they are so well learned!  Poor souls are deluded by their self-proclaimed wisdom.  Yet ask them to open up to the Prophet Habakkuk and they will probably be lost somewhere in Paul’s letters and ask you what page it is on.

I could give you theological reasons and historical reasons for pages on why we should do the Catechism every year for Lent.  Instead, there is no better thoughts for us than of Martin Luther on our subject matter of the Small Catechism.
My words don’t cut to the heart likes his do; Luther knew the power of words better than anyone alive today in the Church.  So, I will let him speak in referring to pastors and Christians who think they are oh so clever and so well versed in the faith in Christ and of the Church,
“What else are such proud, arrogant saints doing who are unwilling to read and study the catechism daily?  They think they are much more learned than God Himself with all His saints, angels, prophets, apostles, and all Christians.  

God Himself is not ashamed to teach these things daily.  He knows nothing better to teach.  He always keeps teaching the same thing and does not take up anything new or different.  All the saints know nothing better or different to learn and cannot finish learning this.  

Are we not the finest of all fellows to imagine that if we have once read the catechism, we know it all and have no further need to read and learn?  Can we finish learning in one hour what God Himself cannot finish teaching?  

All prophets, together with all the saints, have been busy learning it, have ever remained students, and must continue to be students.”  

Blessings from Christ as you continue to be students of the catechism.  Dig into and learn again the basics of our faith and the love that is ours in Christ Jesus!  May you cling to Christ and what he gives.  Amen.
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