Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blind Skiing

Saturday after Epiphany 4
February 6, 2010

The Lord be with you

One of the responsibilities of a pastor is to teach the truths of God found in the Bible. In the Lutheran Church that includes Catechism/Confirmation classes. In other denominations such classes might be called “seekers classes,” “membership classes,” and so on. The class prepares students for full membership, not only in the local church but also in the denomination (in our case the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod).

In some of our churches these classes are called “Confirmation” classes and in others they are called “Catechism” classes. When the students are young (usually teens) the classes are typically called Junior Confirmation/Catechism classes. While each LCMS church is free to do this in any fashion deemed best suited to its local setting, most offer these classes in basic Christian truths to children in the 7th and 8th grades. Some churches have a one year course, others two, and some three. (Yes, there are other options being used as well.)

Over the years along with the Bible I have always used Luther’s Small Catechism as one of my text books. I have also always used a second text, but I have experimented with various options. One of those options is a book titled Catechetical Helps by Erwin Kurth, published by Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis. It seems I always come back to this one. One of its many strengths are the great illustrations it has. I thought I’d share a few in a series of posts spread out over time.

In explaining that the purpose of the Bible is to reveal God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, and therefore we should give head to it, Catechetical Helps uses an illustration adapted from Leadership Journal.

A television program during the 1988 Winter Olympics featured blind skiers in training for slalom skiing. The blind skiers were paired with sighted skiers, who skied beside them shouting out commands, “Left!” “Right!” “Straight ahead!” As they heard and trusted the commands, the blind skiers were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skier’s word. It was either complete trust or disaster!

In this world, we are by nature blind to God’s plan of salvation. We rely solely on the Word of Christ, who speaks to us, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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