I did not grow up in a denomination that included the catechism as part of Christian teaching. A catechism is a method of teaching basic doctrine, and was originally used to instruct converts to Catholicism. After the Protestant Reformation, several protestant catechisms were written with the distinct purpose of giving parents a method of instruction to pass on the tenants of the Christian faith to their children. With a series of questions and answers, little children would memorize the “big ideas” about God and His Word. As a parent, I was intrigued by the idea of teaching my children with this method, but we really never got past reading a little of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
A while back, I saw a video clip where people were being asked outside the doors of a grocery store, “What is your purpose in life?” The answers varied greatly… which is expected when you’re caught off guard with a question of great importance… a few of them were…
To have fun.
To make money.
To help others.
To serve God.
To be true to myself.
Most of the interview-ees stammered a bit and started their answers with “uuuummmmmm…” Some thought the question was funny and came up with something quickly. Some, who were obviously people of faith, tried to sum up what they believed in a single sentence. One older lady stood out, though, by giving a confident answer…
The chief end of man is to glorify God,
and to enjoy Him forever.
She didn’t hem or haw, didn’t stammer, didn’t say “umm,” and didn’t have to think twice before giving her answer. She evidently had that one down since she was very young, and had complete confidence in it. THAT impressed me. Now, this series is not about whether or not our churches should encourage catechizing… It’s more about that bit of basic doctrine that the Church has considered most important over the centuries…
To glorify God
And to enJOY! Him forever.
While we are working hard to accomplish the first part of that statement, we often forget about the second part, and can slip into legalism and drudgery. But I think they go together… Our faith, our understanding of Who God is, should result in great Joy! in our lives. In both deep, thoughtful ways, and simple, everyday ways we should enjoy our relationship with the Lord.
In what ways do you enJoy! the Lord?
Delight yourself in the Lord and
He will give you the desires of your heart.