From the Word: 19 And he ordered the crowds to recline on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were filled. They collected twelve baskets full of what remained of the leftover portions. 21 And those eating were about five thousand men, besides women and children. (Matthew 14:19–21)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, Preface
However, for the people in general, we are satisfied if they learn the three parts that have remained in Christendom from of old, though little of it has been taught and handled correctly so that both the young and old who are called and wish to be Christians may be well trained in them and familiar with them.
Pulling It Together: The Small Catechism is aptly named; it is a little book of instruction on the Christian faith. It may not seem like much, and perhaps one is thinking, Why not read the entire Bible? Indeed; why not? Still, the crowd, along with Jesus’ disciples, in that lonely place where they had followed him, must have thought, Five loaves and two fish for all of us? What a puny meal! But with Jesus’ blessing, it became a feast with so much left over that it could not be consumed in one sitting.
The lifelong catechumen will never get his plate clean. There will always be more to digest because God will bless the study of that little book. Moreover, it will lead the true student deeper and deeper into the rest of the Word.
Prayer: Teach me, Lord, what you would have me understand for this day. Amen.
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It is a vital task of the church today to encourage a renewed interest in and use of God’s Word. Unfortunately, many people find the Scriptures difficult to read and hard to understand at first. The purpose of Epistles, a Guide to Reading the Scriptures is twofold: to encourage Christians to read God’s Word on a regular basis and to help the reader slow down and concentrate on each chapter of the epistles before moving on to the next.