Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 35
This time we will think about the second commandment. Do you know it, or do you have to look it up? God does not want us to make a drawing of Him. He does not want an artist to make a statue of God. It would be impossible to make a picture or statue of God. Never did we, sinful people, see Him. God is so great and glorious that people would become blind if they tried. Worse, they would even die. God does not want us to make pictures or statues of Him, either. It is wrong to make an image of God. What about a statue of Sir John A. McDonald or of the queen? Would that be allowed? Sure! And we may hang a picture of our grandparents on the wall. That makes us think of them. You must know the story of the golden calf in the desert, when Moses had gone up the mountain to meet God. The I people said about the golden calf:”This is God who brought you out of Egypt.” They were saying that when they looked at that golden calf, they were reminded of God, who had saved them. You may think, “Was that so bad?” More people ask that question. I do, too! But God says you may not make an image of an animal or of anything else to help you think of Him. Church buildings may have beautiful windows with pictures from the Bible. But those pictures may never replace the Bible. Only the words of the Bible should make known the gospel. Therefore, on Sundays we listen with respect when the minister preaches from the Bible. And during the week we listen with respect to the Bible story the teacher tells. That is the way God’s gospel is shared with us. It is better not to perform Bible plays, or to imitate something from the Bible. You may have seen a picture of Jesus Christ in a children’s Bible. People have seen Him when He was on earth, for He became a man to suffer for us on the cross. This kind of picture may be helpful for small children. But for older children God thinks the words of the Bible are enough. Those words are enough to fill his people with joy.