Well, it happened again today as I “walked into” the Heidelberg Catechism. All I have to say is WOW! Maybe you’ve never considered walking through this part of the Christian community. It sounds a little too heady, aloof and boring. However, it is the best way to cover all your theological bases and get all your ducks in a row. (There, is that enough clichés for the day?)
Seriously, the Heidelberg Catechism is more than just dry theology that fails to penetrate our skin. As Kevin De Young writes: “The Heidelberg Catechism is the most personal and most devotional of the Reformation era creeds and confessions. The theme is ‘comfort’ and the emphasis is on how the person and work of Jesus Christ benefits the believer. The pattern of questions and answers make the catechism accessible, while the conspicuous use of ‘I,’ ‘me,’ ‘my,’ and ‘mine’ make the theology warm and practical.”
This means that it is readable and embraceable. Take as an example Question and Answer 1:
WHAT IS YOUR ONLY COMFORT IN LIFE AND DEATH?
That I am not my own,
body and soul,
in life and in death–
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me whole-heartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
Corresponding Scripture passages are then given for the points of each answer. This is a treasure trove! Here is a link that lays out the entire catechism by Sundays over the course of 52 weeks.
How different would our churches and families be if we would be in this part of town more often?