Martin Luther believed that all followers of Jesus should know the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed and the Ten Commandments along with other basic facts the sacraments and God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ. To help people hear and understand their faith more fully, he produced the Small Catechism which could be used by pastors, teachers and parents to share the faith. As you will see below, Luther doesn’t go into great detail or try to explain every line of the text, but rather offers an overview to encourage familiarity and understanding.
In the first article of the Apostle’s Creed, we focus on the first person of the Trinity, God the Father. In this article, we assert that God is the creator of all things, the source of life. The story of God’s creative action is told in Creation Story recorded in the beginning of Genesis. The Genesis account of creation is not meant to be a scientific textbook, but a proclamation of God’s loving action which brings life into being. As you read Genesis 1:1-31 focus on God’s action, think about the sequence in which the creation story happens and notice God’s view on what is coming into being.
The second article of the Apostle’s Creed focuses the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, and on the major elements of Jesus’ story – his birth, death and resurrection. Each of these beliefs about Jesus is rooted in scripture.
In John 14:16-17, Jesus speaks of sending an Advocate who will come to be present with us in his absence and in Acts 2:1-4, we witness the Holy Spirit coming into the world on the Day of Pentecost. Traditionally, the Day of Pentecost is remembered as the beginning of the church for it is on that day that the Holy Spirit empowers the disciples to go out and share the good news about Jesus. In Acts 2:41-47, we hear about the 3000 people who began to follow Jesus that day and about how this new movement gathered together for worship, learning and mutual support.