Catechism 51

Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension? Christ physically ascended on our behalf, just as he came down to earth physically on our account, and he is now advocating for us in the presence of his Father, preparing a place for us, and also sends us his Spirit. (New City Catechism) Not waiting in vain, menContinue reading “Catechism 51”

Catechism 48

What is the church? God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another. (NewContinue reading “Catechism 48”

Catechism 47

Does the Lord’s Supper add anything to Christ’s atoning work? No, Christ died once for all. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ’s atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentantContinue reading “Catechism 47”

Catechism 42

How is the Word of God to be read and heard? With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith, store it in our hearts, and practice it in our lives. (New City Catechism) And teach. Let us be ready: the hands poised beneath the pages, holding open, as in prayer;Continue reading “Catechism 42”

Catechism 41

What is the Lord’s Prayer? Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we have also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver usContinue reading “Catechism 41”

Catechism 40

What should we pray? The whole Word of God directs and inspires us in what we should pray, including the prayer Jesus himself taught us. (New City Catechism) What then? The whole story beckons: Creation, fall, flood, a people set apart yet crumbling. Every moment shines what-might-be against what-is, entropy’s melancholy truth, and yet this potentiality ofContinue reading “Catechism 40”

Catechism 38

What is prayer? Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God in praise, petition, confession of sin, and thanksgiving. (New City Catechism) Sometimes with words, sometimes with hearts groaning, fists shaking, a silent rumble. Sometimes with hope, sometimes in anguish, with little to hold, save Prayer’s ladder. Sometimes with sight, sometimes desperate, aching, every breath,Continue reading “Catechism 38”

Catechism 37

Catechism 37 How does the Holy Spirit help us? The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, comforts us, guides us, gives us spiritual gifts and the desire to obey God; and he enables us to pray and to understand God’s Word. (New City Catechism) Dove: my best attempts are straw. My righteousness is dust,Continue reading “Catechism 37”

Catechism 36

What do we believe about the Holy Spirit? That he is God, coeternal with the Father and the Son, and that God grants him irrevocably to all who believe. (New City Catechism) God’s wind blows wherever it wills – blows and leads the soul to life. The Spirit draws the dying spirit, draws and enters,Continue reading “Catechism 36”

Catechism 35

Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from? All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself. (New City Catechism) Even faith’s a gift:    the thought that I can stretch out my hand      and take    free giftContinue reading “Catechism 35”