Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 21
Do you, too, go to church? Of course. You belong to the sheep of the good shepherd. You know, of course, that is the Lord Jesus. He told us himself: I am the good shepherd. And we are his flock.
The flock can also be called the church. The Lord Jesus takes good care of his sheep. He wants them to be weil cared for. They should eat good food. That is why he gave us ministers. They are sometimes called shepherds. They should look after the sheep and give them good food.
Do you know what “good food” means? They should preach what the Bible teaches. And they do other things, too. They visit people who are ill, they teach catechism, and there is more. If they would not do that, they would not be good shepherds. And they should no longer work in the church. It is good that there are many good shepherds. At home, you pray for them: for the ministers, and also for elders and deacons. Your parents won’t forget to pray for them, and you should do that, too!
And that is not all. Do you read Mission News, about the missionaries? They are sent to places all over the world, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the church must be full.AII who believe that gospel may belong to the church. It does not matter whether they are black, or brown, or white. You, too, belong to the church, and that is great! There you can be full of joy for everything the Lord gives to you and promises to give you. It happens that children of the Lord stay away from the flock. Even though they belong to it! They may be happy, but they also miss something. But they do not know it. The church on earth continues on the new earth. That will happen when the Lord Jesus returns on the clouds. Then, all God’s people will be together. Do you know when the church began? With Adam and Eve. But they did not go to a big building with a pulpit. Together they spoke about the good things God had said to them and all He had done for them. Later they talked it over with their children. The church grew. During the time of Enos, something Iike our worship began.
Later still, they came together at the tabernacle, and after that at the temple. And after the Lord Jesus had come on earth, worship services as we have them began. Now you know why we say that the church has always existed.
All those people belonging to the church should be thankful for the Lord and for one another, and help one another. Together we are one big family. That is what the minister says, too. ln church, he does not say: ladies and gentlemen. He says: brothers and sisters. The Holy Spirit works in the church, so that we worship God and live together as brothers and sisters.