The Reformation was, first and foremost, all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was then, and it still is now.
The task of reformation never ends, for every person, in every generation, needs to hear the good news of their Savior from sin and eternal death.
The Reformation was not about anything new, but about returning to the unchanged and unchanging truth. So it is still today. The celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is not a time for novelty. It is a time to return: to the truth, to the basics, to the foundation.
Do you remember the Small Catechism? Many of us were made to memorize the catechism (or at least part of it) during our Confirmation classes. Some of us might have even suffered through a public examination over its contents.
How much do you remember? Say it with me: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him…” Can you finish? Do you remember where that is found? (It’s in Luther’s explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed.)
It’s time to return. Luther wrote the Small Catechism for the instruction of laypeople. Luther intended the Small Catechism to be used at church and in the home to instruct children in the faith and to reinforce the faith in the hearts and minds of adults.
There is no better time than in this year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation to review the catechism.
Read it for yourself. Refresh the theology in your mind. Pray the catechism daily. Memorize it.
But even more, teach it. If you are a parent, teach it to your children. As you have opportunity, share it with your friends and peers.
The catechism teaches the fundamentals of the Christian faith: the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of the Altar and the Office of the Keys and Confession. This small book is well worth your time and study.
May this celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation be a time when we return to the Word and Sacraments, when we turn to Christ and His love. It’s still all about Jesus.
Check out LutheranReformation.org for more information.