Archive for April 23rd, 2007

Getting Acquainted with the Heidelberg Catechism

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

My first love and familiar friend as far as Reformed Christian subordinate standards go are the Westminster Standards, such as the Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms. In the past year, however, we have been attending a Reformed church of Dutch background, where the subordinate standards are The Three Forms of Unity, which pre-date the Westminster Standards:

  1. The Belgic Confession
  2. The Canons of Dordt
  3. The Heidelberg Catechism

We were only familiar with these faithful standards in a distant sort of way, so have started reading through them, discussing them, and will continue studying them in more depth.

Tonight, one part of family worship involved reading Question and answer 122 of the Heidelberg Catechism:

What is the first petition [of the Lord’s Prayer]?
Answer: Hallowed be thy name. That is: grant us, first, rightly to know Thee, and to sanctify, glorify, and praise Thee in all Thy works, in which Thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy, and truth shine forth; further also, that we may so order and direct our whole life, thoughts, words, and actions, that Thy Name may not be blasphemed but honored and praised on our account.

Contemplating this answer gave me such a burst of joy, like a heavenly sunbeam shone for a moment on my soul. The thought that blessed me so much was, Not only does the Lord graciously gift a person with salvation through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, He makes it really possible for folks like us to bring honor and praise to His Name. Makes life seem worth living, doesn’t it?

I’ll conclude with a portion from Psalm 145, verses one through three, from the Scottish Metrical Psalter, which expresses for me this joy and gratitude I feel to the Lord:

O LORD, thou art my God and King;
Thee will I magnify and praise:
I will thee bless, and gladly sing
Unto thy holy name always.
Each day I rise I will thee bless,
And praise thy name time without end.
Much to be prais’d, and great God is;
His greatness none can comprehend.