The Small Catechism

I was commenting to a colleague of mine this week that the more I teach Luther’s Small Catechism the more I appreciate it. The simplicity in presentation of concepts and truths that have occupied theologians for thousands of years is remarkable. If you haven’t looked through your catechism in a while I strongly recommend it. A lot of great wisdom and insight helping to explain God’s Word and the essence of the Christian life. How has God created our world and everyone in it to work? What has God told me about himself in his Word? How might I communicate with this God? Important stuff.

And in places and situations where the amazing seminary education so easily available in other parts of the world is not available, what an essential resource for church leaders to regularly interact with so they can share it with their congregations. What a necessary resource for the families in all of our churches!

I had the privilege of leading five Sri Lankan evangelists in a review of The Small Catechism (as well as the Large Catechism) this week. These are men who have served the church there for years but not as pastors. If I understand it correctly (and I may well not) these men function sort of like deacons. They assist pastors in parishes. But they have hopes of being ordained as pastors. The Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) is in the process of developing a means of determining their skills towards that end. This class was one of a series designed to help the men review in preparation for some sort of evaluative process that may come at the end of this summer.

Next month I’ll go back to teach on the Augusburg Confession. This is no small feat. There are six hours of instruction on each of the three days. And because these men speak Tamil and only limited English, this means three hours of material and three hours of translation. Needless to say we moved quickly.

I was pleased with how eager and responsive the evangelists were. It’s clear they care about what they do and want to do the best job they can. Please keep this group in your prayers as they continue towards their evaluation later this year. May the Holy Spirit not only prepare them for that but grant discernment to the CELC in determining whether they should be ordained or not. Even if not all of them are, I pray they’ll continue serving their churches faithfully!

Pray for Matookma, Sebastian, Prekahs, Raja and Anton. The man in the purple clerical is the bishop, and to his right is Nathan who was my translator and did a fantastic job!

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