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Train up a child…with the liturgy? Yes!!

June 29, 2009

I am going to become a father in a little over a month, assuming the baby comes near the due date (which, I’m told, is highly unlikely). As that day approaches, I find myself thinking more and more about teaching this child about the Christian faith. As a Lutheran, I have many resources to choose from, such as Luther’s Small Catechism and Bible story books. These are all very important and I intend on using everything at my disposal. But I think one of the most important ways for this baby to learn is through the liturgy.

You see, Grace Lutheran Church, where I serve as Director of Parish Music (among other things) is a liturgical church. We are not high church, with the smells and bells, but we use the liturgies in Lutheran Service Book each week. During each Divine Service we retell the story of salvation and learn basic truths of the faith: That we are all sinners from conception and are spiritually blind, dead, and enemies of God. That God sent His one and only Son into this world to be born as a human and die in our place as the once and for all sacrifice for all our sins and the sins of the whole world. And that He rose on the third day, proclaiming His victory over sin death and the power of the devil.

This salvation will be given to our baby in the waters of Holy Baptism shortly after birth and later, in the Lord’s Supper. The child has already heard the Word of God in church and at home, a Word that has the power to create faith even in lifeless creatures. The liturgy is that same Word of God, arranged to tell the salvation story. What could possibly be better than that on a Sunday morning? And because it is repeated weekly, by the time the child can read, he (or she, we don’t know) will have many wonderful passages of Scripture memorized and learned by heart. He will know the Lord’s Prayer and Apostles’s and Nicene Creeds. Yes, teach a child the faith at home; that is vital. But also bring them to church. They don’t need to be able to read, talk, or even understand the words. The Word of God does its work.

From → Church Music

One Comment
  1. Vicki Schnack permalink

    Amen! This is how Randy and I raised our boys. At 2, our oldest would sing TLH page 15 all over the house. Despite many telling me that young children “just don’t get” the liturgy, we knew better. God’s Word absolutely does its’ work and is always faithful.


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