Less is More – Luther’s Small Catechism.

ssmallcatechismAssociate Editor’s Note:  What a great way to advertise the new CPH app!

It happens like clockwork every three or four months. I get worn down, overwhelmed, you could even say burned out. I’m not a pastor or church worker, but you couldn’t tell by the bulk of my reading and website visiting. Two years ago I couldn’t have given a rip about Confessional Lutheranism. I was Lutheran but didn’t really understand what that meant. Even today with a deeper understanding of Lutheranism; I still get lost, even dazed with all the information that is out there. That’s when I know I need a reset, I need to get back to the basics and take a break from it all. I have to put away those books I am borrowing from my pastor. I have to quit staring at my Lutheran Facebook Groups and visiting umpteen Lutheran blogs. I can’t go back and listen to every Issues Etc. broadcast, watch every Worldview Everlasting video, or even waste my life away listening to Table Talk Radio trying to earn points. I need to get back to the basics. The only way to do that is to get back into Luther’s Small Catechism.

Everything a Christian needs for their daily devotional life is explained in Luther’s Small Catechism. The Ten Commandments are listed and explained in detail to convict us all of our sin and total corruption. The sacraments (The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution, and The Sacrament of the Altar) are explained to strengthen us all in our lives at Christians. The Daily Prayers which when added to The Creed and The Lord’s Prayer are our confession of faith. The Table of Duties explains some common vocations in life and the church. Finally, concluding with “Christian Questions and Their Answers”. These questions and answers can be used during confession, but are great for use in prayer and any instructional setting.

So if you ever feel overwhelmed with everything out there in the world of Lutheranism, get back into Luther’s Small Catechism. Using it daily will keep your grounded in the building blocks of the Christian faith.

There many ways online to read Luther’s Small Catechism including from CPH or Book of Concord.org

Order  a copy online at CPH.

Also check out the new CPH Small Catechism App

About Nathan Redman

Nathan Redman was baptized into Christ at Bethel Lutheran Church (ELCA) Wahpeton, North Dakota on June 17th 1979. He and his wife, Bernice and their two children, Elsie and Porter are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church (LCMS) in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Nathan works for a family owned Pepsi distributor in St. Cloud. In his spare time he enjoys watching Doctor Who, listening to Frank Sinatra and drinking single malt Scotch. Nathan considers it a privilege to write for Steadfast Lutherans.


Less is More – Luther’s Small Catechism. — 6 Comments

  1. Here’s the note from CPH: “We have released a mobile-friendly version of the SC, with Android and iOS apps soon to follow.”

    So those with Android phones .. be patient and it will be out shortly!

  2. Great article. Thank you.

    I’m not sure my question belongs on this thread, but the discussion of Luther’s Small Catechism got me thinking about a couple of things regarding Communion and the Divine Service.

    1. What are the requirements for one to assist the pastor while he’s administering the Sacraments? In other words, who can help assist?

    2. Regarding the readings, I know the pastor actually reads the Gospel, but what are the requirements (if any) for one to do the readings.

    Over the years I’ve seen different approaches to the above two questions I pose and I think I need to make sure I know the right answer. Thanks ahead of time for any answers.

    Have a blessed day.

  3. @Randy #4
    The questions you bring up are good ones. I would suggest you submit them to our “ask a pastor” so that one of the authors can treat it more fully.

    There are a variety of ways that answer those questions, ranging from the wrong way to do it, an allowed way to do it, to the best way to do it.

    Assisting at the Sacrament in the distribution (if necessary) should be done by a man probably an elder in the congregation since they are the ones primarily given to help the pastor in many things. Never should the assisting make it appear like the layman is the celebrant of the sacrament.

    For the Lessons (notice what I did there by changing the title) – why wouldn’t the pastor want to be doing his job of reading from the lessons? The Lay reader comes around in modern usage out of the “everyone a minister” movement which seeks to get the laity more “involved” in the service (as if God’s given place of hearer wasn’t enough). There are some churches that have a “deacon” read the lessons following a practice of the early church on the matter. The Table of duties makes it clear in the headings who is to be doing the preaching (and publicly reading the lessons is preaching/teaching) and who is to be doing the hearing. Also, the ESV nicely translates 1 Timothy 4:13 concerning this.

  4. Rev Scheer,

    I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful and insightful response to my questions. For instance, the distinction you made between “readings” and “lessons” makes a world of sense and speaks volumes. I think I will take your advice and submit this to “ask a pastor” simply because your excellent response has sparked a desire I have to learn more.

    Have a blessed day.

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