Thursday, September 1, 2011

Monthly Mission: Luther's Small Catechism!

August had an unpublished mission. It was unpublished because I didn't decide upon the mission until late in the month and because I hadn't told you that Monthly Missions would become a regular fixture of this blog. That unannounced mission was to be able to solve a Rubik's cube by the end of August, and as you know from my previous post, I was successful.

This month's mission, while lacking in precise definition, is Luther's Small Catechism.

In a few weeks, I begin teaching the midweek pre-confirmation class at St. Peter's. That's 5th and 6th graders if I understand correctly. And the possibility exists that I'll be catechizing the 7th and 8th graders at a soon-to-be vacant LCMS parish. Suffice it to say it behooves me to spend some quality time with Luther's Small Catechism.

I'm going to memorize the whole Small Catechism as contained in the Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord. Specifically, I'll use my pocket edition, and it's on pages 445 through 474. I'll be breaking this down to one page per day.

This won't be as easy as it sounds. The Reader's Edition is not the version of the Small Catechism I learned as a youth. I was taught from the official 1991 LCMS catechism with NIV Bible verses, that is, the blue one (not the OLD blue one from 1943). Much of the content will be familiar, but the wording differs in places. Also, confirmation class typically doesn't deal at all with Luther's Preface, and doesn't always include the Table of Duties. The basic confirmation class covers the Six Chief Parts (or at least five of them) and that's about it.

By the end of September, I will recite aloud the entire Small Catechism, venue to be determined.

I figure that successfully completing this mission will give me a better command of the material and make me a better catechist.

Want to join me on this mission? You don't have to go whole hog like me, but maybe just pick up your Small Catechism and quiz yourself on the chief parts. Or maybe you want to memorize just Luther's Preface (hint: it's probably toward the back of the book). Leave a comment on this blog post to let me know if you're taking this on with me, or doing your own modified version. Let's work together!

PS - Subscribers to my email newsletter called Mission Control knew a few days ago that this month's mission would be the Small Catechism. Mission Control gets insider information before I publish it here on the blog. Mission Control subscribers will receive updates on the Small Catechism mission throughout the month, and can send me feedback, suggestions, questions, and so forth, to help guide the mission. Mission Control will also help design October's mission starting in a couple weeks. If you want to get in on the action, just subscribe below:
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