These are the catechetical notes for older children learning the catechism. Each week has an assigned part of the Small Catechism for you to teach your children as well as a corresponding Bible passage to reinforce the Catechism. Your children are expected to memorize the assigned catechism text. This curriculum is loosely based on Lutheran Catechesis: A Comprehensive Guide to Catechesis for a Lutheran Congregation, by Rev. Peter Bender.
Make sure to recite the “core texts” of the catechism (Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer) every day as part of your devotions. Remember that consistency is key and “repetition is the mother of learning” (repetition est mater studiorum). If you have any questions, please feel free to call, text, or email.
This Week’s Small Catechism (Learn-by-Heart)
First Commandment (with What does this mean?)
F: What is the First Commandment?
C: You shall have no other gods.
F: What does this mean?
C: We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.
Discussion Questions on the First Commandment (Ask 2-3 Per Day)
- What does it mean that something or someone is a “god?”
(Question 24 in Small Catechism; Large Catechism, I § 2–3)
- What does God require of us in this commandment?
(Question 26 in Small Catechism; Large Catechism, I § 4)
- What does it mean to have an idol? What is the most common idol?
(Explain that an idol is a false god or a fake god; see Large Catechism, I § 6–7, 21)
- How do we know that God exists?
(§ 35 in Small Catechism)
- How do we know who is the only true God?
(Question 36 in Small Catechism)
- Do all religions worship the same God?
(Question 41 in Small Catechism; Large Catechism, I § 17–21; You should ask your children what other kinds of religions and gods they have heard of at this point.)
- What does this Bible say about atheism (those who don’t believe that God exists)?
(Read Psalm 14:1)
- Why ought we fear God?
(Question 28 in Small Catechism)
- Why ought we love God?
(We should love God because he created us, he forgives us, and he has saved us by giving us his Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place)
- Why ought we trust God?
(We should trust God because he has been faithful to keep his promises; most of all, he has been faithful to keep his promise to save us from our sins and to crush the devil, Genesis 3:15, 2 Corinthians 1:20)
- How do we break the First Commandment?
(Question 33 in Small Catechism; Large Catechism I § 28)
This Week’s Bible Passage: Genesis 3:1–21
Questions on this Passage:
- How did Adam and Eve break the First Commandment in the Garden of Eden?
(They made idols of themselves, i.e., pride. They listened to Satan instead of God. They wanted to be ‘gods’ in place of God)
- Was there any reason for Adam and Eve not to trust God?
(No, God had been faithful and good to them.)
- Since Adam was “with her” (v. 6), what should he have done when Satan tried to deceive Eve?
(As the head of his wife, he should have crushed Satan and stopped him from talking. Husbands are to lead and protect their wives, not to abandon their headship, see v. 17)
- When Adam sinned, who did he blame? When Eve sinned, who did she blame? What was the problem with both their excuses?
(God gave us our own wills, we are responsible for our own sins.)
- What did God do Adam and Eve (v. 21)? Did they deserve this? What does this tell us about God?
(God gave them clothing to cover their shame and sin. They did not deserve this. They deserved his wrath. This tells us that God is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love”)
- What does this passage teach us about fearing, loving, and trusting God?
(This passage teaches us that we ought to fear God because he will punish our sins. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden and eventually would die. This passage teaches us that we ought to love God because he is good to us when we are not good to him. He could have destroyed them on the spot, but instead covered their shame and nakedness, as he does for us in Jesus Christ. This passage teaches us to trust God because he is faithful to keep his word. He kept Genesis 3:15 by giving us Jesus Christ to die for our sins and crush and defeat Satan for us.)