Intro to the Small Catechism

Section 1: Opening Prayer

“I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.” Martin Luther Morning Prayer

Section 2: The Story

A little bit of fun to start us off…

Section 3: The Message

The Small Catechism was written by Martin Luther in 1529.

So to understand this first we have to know what a Catechism is.

What is a Catechism?

  1. A device for shooting cats through the air.
  2. A hole in the ground to place cats.
  3. a formal religious doctrine in the form of question and answer.

A Catechism according to Merriam Webster Online is:

1 :  oral instruction
2 :  a manual for catechizing; specifically :  a summary of religious doctrine often in the form of questions and answers
a :  a set of formal questions put as a test
   b:  something resembling a catechism especially in being a rote response or formulaic statement
So it is not oral instruction, but that is what you do when you gather with your congregations confirmation group and talk about these lessons.
Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is a manual for teaching the basic tenants of our faith.
Luther also wrote a Large Catechism which is the same material, but the explainations go more in depth.
The Small Catechism was written for fathers (read parents) to use in the instruction of the faith to their children.
The Large Catechism was written for pastors to help them better teach the faith to their congregations.
Here is Luther’s introduction to the Small Catechism. You can see in this the intensity of Luther’s thought on the need for training in the basics of the Christian faith.
The Small Catechism consists of (links are provided but you are not expected to read these at this point):

Section 4: Learn and Engage

Take the quiz online at testmoz.com/557881 . Please use code TBFF and your first name.

Section 5: Closing Prayer

“I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected me today. I ask you to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously to protect me tonight. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.” Martin Luther Evening Prayer