This week I am embarking on a new series. I don’t know if you realize it or not, but Luther’s Small Catechism is one of the rich treasures of our Lutheran Tradition. It has endured from its inception in the early sixteenth century, and it has faithfully nurtured countless Christian disciples over the years.
It has long been held by Christians, even well before Luther, that the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer serve as a solid foundation for learning the essential elements of the Christian Faith. All three can be easily memorized, and then reflected upon each day.
Luther added to these three principle parts short teachings concerning the Sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and the practice of Confession and Absolution.
Every Christian should memorize and learn the Ten Commandments! Once you have memorized them, you can recite them each day. They can form the basis for our meditations on God’s Word and our prayers to God. They can guide us in our daily confession of sins.
You should know that Lutherans and Catholics number the Ten Commandments differently than most other Christians. The slight variance is not important, and no matter the numbering, become familiar with them!
Here is the Lutheran scheme. Here is your chance to memorize them. 1. You shall have no other gods. / 2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. / 3. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. / 4. Honor your father and your mother. / 5. You shall not kill. / 6. You shall not commit adultery. / 7. You shall not steal. / 8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. / 9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. / 10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his cattle, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Since You Asked…
What is the purpose and meaning of our Votive Prayer Candles?
To “light a candle for someone” means that you will say a prayer for them. The candle symbolizes your prayers. When we light a candle it is a sign of attentiveness and that we are being purposeful in offering intercessory prayer. It is an important act in which we are involved! To be in prayer is to be spiritually awake and vigilant. And as the candle continues to burn it symbolizes our ongoing prayers. It is a sign to others that prayers are being offered. In such an atmosphere, indeed the darkness gives way to light.