We continue to explore how Christians who are Lutheran make disciples. I am pretty sure that most people of the church do the first aspect of our disciple making process quite well by attending worship on a regular basis. Now we are shifting to aspects of our process that may or may not be a part of your active Christian life. The second aspect of our Lutheran discipleship making process is called Catechesis. Catechesis is supported by the two great books of our faith. They are the Bible and the Confessional writings (Book of Concord). We are people of two books.
Catechesis is the process where we are becoming an echo of Jesus Christ. All too often we reduce this lifelong process to the two year confirmation programs of most of our Lutheran churches which our young are expected to participate in. What I want to do is help us all to appreciate that we are to be involved in becoming an echo of Jesus, or as Martin Luther suggests, we are to become Christ for our neighbor over our entire lifetime. We are to be growing into our full statue of who we are in Jesus Christ our whole life.
The biblical tool we have available to us, our Holy Scriptures, is essential for us to become part of the biblical story of the people of God. We study either as a group in Bible classes, read and study the bible privately, or we just read the Scriptures of the Older Testament Scriptures (Hebrew Scriptures) and the New Testament (Greek Scriptures). How do you use the Scriptures in your life? You can see why, as a Pastor, I have a bible blog to have daily readings of Scriptures to encourage you. You can use the list in the two year lectionary in the ELW to read from Scriptures. You can focus on the Stories of the Week that we started to publish. You can join a bible study at Living Lord. It’s important that the reading of Scripture be an important part of your daily lives.
The second and even less known or understood part of our Catechesis process of our Lutheran Identity are the confessional writings like the Augsburg Confession. If we went through a confirmation program growing up, we may be familiar with Luther’s Small Catechism. This is just one of the Lutheran Confessional writings that are ruled and normed by Scripture in the collection called the Book of Concord. Have you ever been taught the Confessional writings of the Book of Concord? Did you ever study the Large Catechism which is meant for adults to study so that you may teach your children the Lutheran Christian faith at home?
What you might be realizing from this article is the need for your regular participation in the Catechesis process to help form you into a mature disciple of Jesus Christ as our Catechesis process of using Scriptures and the Confessional writings help us become an echo of Jesus Christ for our neighbor. What is the role of Catechesis in the faith in your life? How much time do you spend with Scriptures? How often have you read in the Confessions?
Story of the Week…One of the things that we, as Christians, who are people of the Book (Bible) really could use is a disciplined way for us to learn the many core Bible stories from the Scriptures. The book “Bible Stories for the Church Year” by Kristen Johnson Ingram does just that by tying Bible stories to the Sunday lectionary we use every week as part of worship. With that in mind, we want to start a program called The Story of the Week. Each week, starting for the first Sunday in June and continuing throughout the church year, we will offer a Bible story that is read as part of our liturgy to be learned. At some point, with more children present, we can even use these stories as the basis of children’s sermons. We plan to put about five stories out each week and as the demand grows, we will make more stories available.
The Story of the Week for September:
September 5: Jesus heals the deaf man (Mark 7:31-37)
September 12: Peter’s Confession (Mark 8:27-38)
September 19: Samson (Judges 13-16)
September 26: The people complain to Moses (Numbers 11)
October 3: God makes the first man and woman (Genesis 2:18-24)
Mid-Week Bible Study…Pastor Larry will begin the Mid-Week Bible Study on Wednesday, September 8, at 11:00 am in the Fellowship Hall. If you have not called him to let him know of your interest yet, please feel free to just show up.
Thrivent Members…If you are a Thrivent member and would be interested in using your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support the ministries of Living Lord Lutheran Church, please call Pr. Klinker at 330-550-0077 or the church office. If you would be interested in using Thrivent Action Grants to help support the ministries of Living Lord, please also call Pr. Klinker or the church office. Pastor will meet with you to discuss how to go about setting up these support systems.
Pastor Larry’s Bible Blog…Pastor Larry offers you an opportunity to read your way thru Scriptures with him each day at his Bible Blog. The readings alternate between readings from an Older Testament book and then a Newer Testament book. We have been reading the Older Testament book of Jeremiah in August and will continue reading it in September on Pastor Larry’s Bible blog online at: http://klinkerld-pastorlarrysbible.blogspot.com/. Join us online.
Interim Pastor Larry Klinker’s Office Hours…Pastor Larry will be in the office on Wednesdays from 9:30 am to noon. You may reach him at 330-550-0077 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.