The Dancing Puritan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Training Children with Catechisms

A Catechism for Christmas


Christians have been using catechisms since the early days of the church.  A catechism is simply a means of instruction using questions and answers.  The catechism leader asks a question and listens for a correct response.  

Catechisms have primarily been used as a means of instructing children.  However, adults have benefited as well from such systematic instruction about the great doctrines of the Bible.  Catechisms can also be written to teach specific passages of Scripture to children.  The catechism below can be used to help you teach part of Luke chapter 2 to your children this Christmas season.  Why not consider using good, theologically sound catechisms to instruct your children?  If your children are not yet Christians, think of the foundation of truth that will be theirs if the Lord chooses to open their hearts to the gospel.

Catechism from Luke 2:8-14

Q.  Who was living out in the fields the night that Jesus was born?
A.  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night (8). 
Q.  Who stood in the presence of the shepherds and how did the shepherds respond?
A.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were greatly afraid (9).
Q.  What did the angel say?
A.  Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you.  You will find a Babe wraped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger' (10-12).
Q.  Who appeared with the angel and what did they say?
A.  And suddently there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men' (13-14).

Family Activity

Now, you give it a try.  Take the remainder of the verses from Luke 2:1-20 and develop your own catechism.  Use it with your children and by the end of the Christmas season it is likely that you and your entire family will have memorized these 20 verses.  Consider using the Westminster Shorter Catechism, The Heidelberg Catechism, or The Baptist Catechism as a part of your family worship activities for the New Year.

From Ray's book, Family Worship for the Christmas Season.  Available here: http://www.booksthatnourish.com/products/Family-Worship-for-the-Christmas-Season.html