The Purpose of Christian Education & Catechesis
Devotional?Discussion Thought of the Day:
1 So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. 2 Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. 3 When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. 4 A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. 5 An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. 6 It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. 7 Think it over. God will make it all plain. 8 Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. 2 Timothy 2:1-8 (MSG)
9 As you are going through life, disciple people of every ethnicity, of every nation. Do this by uniting them to Christ in baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to treasure everything I have commissioned life to be.. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (my own paraphrase)
14 “It’s very difficult”, you exclaim, disheartened. Listen, if you make an effort, with the grace of God that is enough. Put your own interests to one side, you will serve others for God, and you will come to the aid of the Church in the field where the battles are being fought today: in the street, in the factory, in the workshop, in the university, in the office, in your own surroundings, amongst your family and friends. (1)
I was asked the other day, what I thought Christian Education is about.
I thought for a moment, and replied that it is about discipleship. About teaching people what they need to know about Jesus Christ.
It can’t just be about getting them to memorize scriptures, or creeds, or even Luther’s catechism. For memorization often is simply being able to regurgitate on command. This isn’t about imparting facts and forms, about lessons of history and systematic theology. Discipling them, teaching them is far more. It is helping them know Christ, and His word. Knowing personally the Lord who cares for them, even tot he point of dying for them. it’s not about bringing forth stuff we’ve memorized but don’t get, it is about seeing the Spirit at work in our lives, pouring out of us to affect the lives of others by bringing them to the cross.
But there is a part of Christian Education and discipleship that is often overlooked – the bringing up of people to take on teaching and preaching, to replace us as we get older, or are called to other places. To pass on what we know of Jesus, His love, His mercy, and especially His faithfulness. men who will respond with this message as it resonates in them to others. Men who will sacrifice what is needed, to focus on the ministry (reminder – we are called to do that as well) St. Josemaria talks of this as well, for some we train will serve God as clergy, but many more will serve him from their places of work, reaching people we cannot reach, reaching people we will not reach. For that is our ministry in discipling other, seeing them gathered into Christ, united to him, then reaching out to gather others in form their lives.
There is something special in this as well, as we gather men and women together in Christ, as we see them grow and minister to others in return. Such is an incredible blessing it is, when we see men that a congregation raises up to minister start to serve. But we need many more such servants, deacons and pastors, Sunday School Teachers, Bible Study leaders, who invest in others the time, so that they might know Jesus, so tht they might walk with Him, So that they may go throughout all the world, in their workplaces, in their schools, in the doctor’s offices and walmarts, That they may go into the inner cities and rural areas, To every corner, bringing and revealing Christ – for such has been invested in them.
That’s what Christian Education is about,
So shall we engage in it?
Lord have mercy… we must!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 294-298). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on March 20, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow, Theology in Practice and tagged Abiding in Christ, Christian Education, discipling, life, Ministry, the apostolate. missions. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.