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Yesterday on our Hymn Sing, Hyr Sing episode, I mentioned the need for the church to begin memorizing the three keys texts of The Faith.
The first text is Sacred Scripture. A lot of people will say, "Is it possible to memorize all of the bible?" Well, for one person this would be too much, but the church is not just one person. The Church is the Body of Christ, the assembly of all believers among whom the Gospel is purely preached and the sacraments are administered in accordance with the Gospel. So, is it possible for the church to memorize the Scriptures together? Yes, all of us, dividing the scriptures up, are able and should inwardly digest the Word and have it memorized by heart.
The second text is the Book of Concord. We all have the Small Catechism memorized, and this is wonderful. However, there is an additional collection of our belief, and it could one day be stripped from us as well. We have the Augsburg Confession, for which many of our ancestors fought and died to defend. We have the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord. WE have the three ecumenical Creeds, so it would probably be good to memorize the Athanasian Creed. Again, this is too much for one man or woman to memorize, but it is not too much for all of us to do.
Third, and one of my favorites, is the Lutheran Service Book. Imagine if we all could sing for memory hundreds of hymns. Imagine if non of us had to use our hymnal or bulletin to follow along with the liturgy. Imagine if we had all 150 Psalms memorized and could chant them together whenever and wherever we desire.
I would like to start a project called the Luther 451 project. This is inspired by the book, Fahrenheit 451. At the end of the book, there is a scene where each person calls themselves the name of the book or passage they have memorized. Even if all the books are burned, their memory remains. May the Holy Spirit grant us a love and desire to memorize these texts, that they may never depart from the life of the church. I am going to begin this project with my family and anyone else who desires to join in. There will be more details to come as we go on. This is not for pastors alone, but for the whole church, so if you have the desire to memorize something, let me know about it and I can help you along the way. This is gonna be fun times.
Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam drowned anew so that you may hear the peaceful voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I love you. I forgive you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.