Peace to you dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The festival of the Holy Trinity was the last day of the school year in St. Andrew’s parish Sunday school. On this day children of the second grade (5-7 years old) were awarded with diplomas for learning by heart the first chapter of the Luther’s Small Catechism.
Director of the parish Sunday school Pastor Pavel Khramov says, “Studying Catechism is one of the most important parts of bringing up children ‘in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’. Therefore we encourage children and mark every step, even small, on this way. Of course, learning by heart needs to go along with understanding, as Catechism is the ‘Bible of the laity’, it is short and clear explanation of the Holy Scripture, it is everything which is ‘necessary for a Christian man to know for his salvation’.
However, I noticed that Catechism should be memorized, and not just explained. When we memorize it, it forms our theological thinking; it gives correct patterns to speak to God and about God. We get used to distinguish Law and Gospel; we accustomed to put Christ into the center of our theology and our life. Moreover, learning the Small Catechism by heart gives us the right words to confess our faith. So often people seemed to believe rightly, but have difficulties with expression and explanation of their faith. Finally, when we award kids at the end of the liturgy, it encourages other children and, hopefully, adults to study and memorize the Small Catechism. That’s why I said to everybody, giving the diplomas, ‘These kids know the Ten Commandments, do you?’
I commend all the teachers of our Sunday school for their commitment to God’s Word and to children, for their patience and persistence in studying the Bible and Confessions and teaching it to children.”
Please pray for the Christian instruction for children and adults in Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church.