Wednesday, August 04, 2010

That they may know the truth . . .

"And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will." -- II Timothy 2:24-26 (NKJV)

On Tuesday evening, for the first time in nearly eight years, I taught adult catechesis. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines catechesis in this way: "oral instruction of catechumens". To supplement that ever-so-helpful definition, I looked up catechumens, and there we find some clarity: "1 : a convert to Christianity receiving training in doctrine and discipline before baptism; 2 : one receiving instruction in the basic doctrines of Christianity before admission to communicant membership in a church". In this case, the second definition is the more accurate, as the two ladies in class are both baptized.

Eight years is a long time between classes, of course. Nonetheless, other than having to talk more in a two-hour class than I usually talk in a week, last night I found myself settling into a bit of a groove. It certainly helps that I'm working with good materials with which I am highly familiar. The three main texts for our class are the Holy Bible (I'm recommending the New King James Version, since that's what we use in worship here at St. Peter Lutheran Church), Luther's Small Catechism, and Lutheran Service Book, the hymnal released by the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in 2006. Our curriculum is simple: we read and discuss Luther's Small Catechism through the lens of Scripture. To supplement that curriculum and to ease the catechumens into the worship life of the congregation, we will also be studying the liturgy of the Divine Service as well as the prayer offices Matins and Vespers, using studies which I wrote as part of my seminary studies and streamlined in the course of my ten years as a pastor.

As I am with other aspect of parish ministry, I am excited to again be teaching adult catechesis. It is a joy to again be doing those things I love, those things I have been trained to do. I thank God for the opportunity to again be an undershepherd to a flock of the Lord's sheep. I just hope my throat adjusts to all the talking I'm once again called to do!

If any members of St. Peter or other area Lutherans are interested in a refresher course, join us on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. On Tuesday the 10th we will be discussing the First Commandment.

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