LEARNING THE FAITH BY HEART by Geoff Boyle
“I love my children and want the best for them: ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness [and] self-control’ (Galatians 5: 22). The fruit of the Holy Spirit comes through God’s Word. Life in the Spirit begins at the font where water and the Word unite us to Christ and is nourished each time we hear His Holy Word and receive His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. Martin Luther tells us that the Spirit ‘leads us first into His holy congregation and places us in the bosom of the Church. Through the Church He preaches to us and brings us to Christ’ (LC II, 42). That’s what I want for my baptized children.
The Small Catechism is a prayerbook, a handbook of the Christian life for you and your children.
Instead of giving a perfect, fail-proof, one-size-fits-all method for home catechesis here, I’ll simply offer a starting point by sharing what we have done at home with our own small children. Adapt and change it as your family requires. Kids vary. And different ages call for different approaches.
We first selected a time and a place (nothing happens without a time and place), making it part of the bedtime ritual: bathe, brush teeth and sit together on the floor with our hymnals.
We started with a simple liturgy and added the Church’s hand motions, teaching them to make the sign of the cross: ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’ (For a 2-year old, making the sign of the cross isn’t always up, down, right and left. It can be all over the place.)
I’d then introduce the Ten Commandments with something I adapted from Pastor Peter Bender along the way: “The Ten Commandments preach repentance. They show us our sin and our need for a Savior, and how we should live before God and our neighbor.’ (Rhythm and rhyme are vital to memorization.)
Then I’d ask: ‘What are the Ten Commandments?’ We’d recite them as a family — just the commandments. Once the children had learned them by heart, we’d ask, ‘What does this mean?’
Next: ‘The Creed preaches who God is for us and for our salvation, as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Let us confess . . . ‘
Then: ‘The Lord’s Prayer preaches the Christian life, how we are to call upon God in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks. Let us pray . . . ‘
Then we sand a hymn — using the same hymn for a while to learn it by heart. (You might have a CD of Lutheran hymns ready.)
Finally, we’d conclude with the catechism’s Evening Prayer and a simple benediction: ‘Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God. The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.’
There’s no magic formula. No super spirituality. Just a father and mother doing the same thing every day in love for their children. And this is the most important point: do it daily, using the
same words. Use repetition. Rhythm and rhyme. Habits form us.
As our kids have grown, so has our use of the catechism. On our way to school we now get through all six chief parts and even sing in the car! Our 5-year old has learned all the chief parts by heart, and our 4-year old knows the primary texts. Our 9-year old corrects me when I’m wrong. I love my children, so I give them the Word. What a gift the Small Catechism is to me and my family. May it be so for you and yours.
~ The Lutheran Witness, September 2017, pgs. 10-11 ~
FALL YARD CLEAN-UP is scheduled for Saturday, September 30th at 9 am. Bring clippers, gloves, brooms, and other yard tools. We can use lots of hands so we can get done quickly. Coffee, juice, and rolls will be available. NOTE: THERE IS NO NEBRASKA GAME ON THIS SATURDAY.
LIFE CHAIN is a silent witness to the sanctity of human life. This event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2:30 pm along “O” St. The members of Good Shepherd will stand between 53rd and 54th streets on the south side of “O” St. Signs will be provided. For more info please contact Sandy Langemeier at(402) 486-1361.
DISNEY TUREK, a member of Good Shepherd, has been struggling with Crohn’s disease and is currently doing well. He has been involved as the “Take Steps” Crohn’s & Colitis Honored Hero
this year. On Thursday, Sept. 28th from 4-9 pm there will be a fundraiser at the Boston Market on 48th and R St. to raise funds for research and assistance for those affected by these two conditions. Please come and bring your friends and neighbors. You will need to mention the fundraiser to receive credit for the association. Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement for Disney.
SUNDAY SCHOOL is an important support for your family in teaching children the truths of God’s Word. Sunday School classes for all ages meet on Sundays at 9:15 am. And while your children are learning you are invited to come to adult Bible study in the fellowship hall and discuss what it means to be a good steward of God’s blessings. Refreshments follow the 8 am service with Sunday
school and Bible study to follow.
Please, Sir, may I have some more?
Just as little Oliver Twist longed to fill his belly, so too do the students of Good Shepherd Lutheran School long to fill their minds.
Good Shepherd has expanded to 7th grade this year! Our school has expanded, but our beautiful school library needs a little help to meet the need.
Would you be able to help us in this endeavor?
A special wish list has been created to support the needs of our 6th and 7th grade students.
An Amazon.com wish list has been created at the link below. To help:
1. Click the link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1UTS32I5WM1O5/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2
2. Select a book from the list to add to cart. (used books in good condition are just fine, too!)
3. Add to any regular Amazon order.
4. If you have any questions contact Bethany at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!!
-Sponsored by Thrivent Action Team- -Amazon Gift Cards are available through SCRIP-