Heidelbergian Children's Catechism (age 8- 10 years)
Lord's Day 7
You are a hothead. Of course I do not know whether you are, but let’s imagine you are quick tempered. And you wear your new sneakers. They are okay, but they are not an expensive brand. Your mother did not want to buy such expensive running shoes. And now one of your friends in the street calls your shoes dumb. You get mad, and it ends in a fight. He throws you down and sits on you. You wriggle out, and there on the ground you find a stick. You are so mad, you throw the stick at him. It does not hit him, but it hits a window. The glass shatters. ln a panic you run home. Your dad is talking with the neighbours. With tears in your eyes you run to him. Why to him, and not to the neighbour? Because he is your dad. But that is not all. You know that you can always go to your dad. Sure, he will be angry wh en he hears what happened. And he will require you to help pay for it. But you can trust your dad. He will telll you what to say to the neighbour. And to the boys in your street. Trust dad. This Lord’s Day is about faith, or trust. You can also call that believing. Could you be long to Christ if you did not believe in Him? Surely not. What do you believe? You may say: I believe that everything in the Bible is true. That is a good answer. But there is more to believing. Remember the story? You ran to your dad, because you knew that he would help you. You trusted him. Faith is that you know the God of the Bible. The more you read in the Bible, the more you know about God. But that is only one part of faith. There is another part. When you broke the window, you expected your dad to help you. You can also expect help from your heavenly Father. In your prayer, you can tell him about your problems. For you know that He can be trusted. He is always ready to listen and to help me. That belongs to faith. What is the content of the faith? If people ask you:”What do you believe, what do you say?”You cannot run home, pick up a Bible and tell them to read it. That would take more than a week! Many centuries ago, Christians had the same problem. The gospel of Jesus Christ needed to go out to all nations. For that, they needed a short summary. And they made it. In twelve lines they summarized the most important teachings found in the Bible. We use this summary; it is in our Book of Praise. We call it: the Apostles’ Creed. That sounds as if the apostles wrote it. But that is not true. They did not write it; they preached about these important things, and they wrote about it, too. Later, others brought together twelve lines about what the apostles had taught. And you can use that as the shortest summary of what you believe.