I have tried to bring the Heidelberg Catechism, composed in 1563 at Elector Frederick II’s request for the purpose of instructing the youth of his day, into a simple modern day dialogue between a young lad Luke and his wise Grandpa, Mr. Gray. It’s my hope to bring this 16 century amazing teachings to light to our today’s youth.
The Lord Day 1 & 2:
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon when Luke, a young lad who was spending his school break in the countryside with his Grandparents, saw Grandpa Gray smiling at the blue sky as he rocked back and forth in his favorite old rocking chair.
Gray: Yes, my dear one.
Luke: What is your only comfort in this life?
Gray: My only comfort in life and death is that I, with body and soul, am not of my own but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; O yes, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.
After reflecting on Grandpa Gray’s answer, Luke could not help himself but ask another question:
Luke: Grandpa? What things are necessary for you to know that you’re indeed enjoying this comfort live now and that at your death, you will die happily?
Gray: I know three things, my dear Luke, the first, how great my sins and miseries are, the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries, the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.
Luke: How do you know your miseries, Grandpa?
A logical question that came almost automatic in Luke’s mind.
Gray: Out of the law of God.
Grandpa’s answer puzzled Luke. Out of the law of God? Luke wanted Grandpa Gray to explain what he meant.
Luke: What does the law of God require of us?
Gray: Well, Christ taught us that briefly in Matt. 22:37–40, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first and the great commandment; and the second is like unto it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
That sounded tough. How could Luke love God with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind and all his strength? Moreover how could he love his bully neighbor’s son?
Luke: Can you keep this law of God perfectly, Grandpa?
Gray: In no wise, my dear one, for I am prone by nature to hate God and my neighbor.
This seemed to confuse young Luke, how are we to keep this law of God if we are prone by nature to hate Him and hate our neighbor. Luke remembered what Grandpa Gray once told him; “When confused, ask right questions, to receive right answers”. So he sank deep in his thoughts, wisely thinking his next question.
Luke: If we are by nature prone to hate God and our neighbor, did God then created man so wicked and perverse?
Gray: By no means; but God created man good, and after his own image, in true righteousness and holiness, that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love him and live with him in eternal happiness to glorify and praise him.
Luke: Where then proceeds this depravity of human nature?
Gray: From the fall and disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden; hence our nature is become so corrupt, that we are all conceived and born in sin.
Luke: Are we then so corrupt that we are wholly incapable of doing any good, and inclined to all wickedness?
Gray: Indeed we are; except we, Christians, are regenerated by the Spirit of God.
Adapted from Lord Day 1 and 2. More to come.Hopefully …