Last year my husband and I decided to start memorizing catechisms as a family. I had zero experience with reading catechisms, much less memorizing them, and I honestly thought that it was an outdated practice that didn’t fit into our modern Christian life. After hearing a well-respected Bible teacher and author recommend The New City Catechism, my husband bought the book, and we began learning and memorizing the simpler, kid-friendly versions of each catechism, one per month, with our son. I was delighted to find that while I had been a bit hesitant to start this practice, I was loving how the foundational truths of our Christian faith were being memorized by our 4 year old (and also the foster children we had living in our home in the fall). He of course didn’t fully understand what he was memorizing, but like Scripture, we can instill these truths in our children when they are young with the hopes that one day when they’re ready to start making connections, the foundation will be there.
Of the catechisms that we’ve memorized so far, this one stands out the most to me:
Question 4: How and why did God create us?
Answer: God created us male and female in His own image to glorify Him.
The New City Catechism app provides songs to go along with each simplified catechism, and this particular one is one of our son’s favorites. Because he enjoys listening to it so much, it is often rolling around in my own head, like waves of the sea rolling to shore and back. As I’ve allowed it to settle deeper into my soul, the words get more and more beautiful to me. This foundational truth means that none of us are accidents and all of us were made by God for a purpose. Even on our worse days, we’re not mess-ups! God isn’t shaking His head in Heaven and thinking, “Now why did I make him/her again? He/she can’t seem to get anything right!” No, that’s not at all what our loving Father thinks. He made us all, male and female, to be like Him, act like Him, love like Him, talk like Him. We were made in His image (Genesis 1:27), and even though I can only scratch the surface of the depth of what that means, I know that it’s good and wonderful and beautiful.
But don’t miss the last part of that catechism. It says that we were made to glorify Him. The immense purpose and reason for our existence is to glorify Him! Do you feel that in your own life? You don’t have to do anything that someone else sees as notable-you may not be well-known or accomplish some huge thing for the Kingdom-but if you’re living your life according to God’s will and living for Him, you will glorify Him! And wow, the fact that our acts and our words, whether big or small, can bring glory to our big, awesome God-is that not amazing? Am I the only one getting fired up about this?
This truth is so encouraging to me and gives me deep hope. Having a daughter diagnosed with a fatal neural tube defect who passed away at just over one day old, I have found great comfort and hope knowing that even her life, though it was only 39 weeks in the womb and 1 day out of the womb, I know that God did not make her in vain. Her life may have been short, but I know that God has used and I pray will continue to use her life to glorify Him. She was made female, in His own image, to glorify Him. She needn’t be old enough to understand that for it have been true of her. But for those of us who do understand, I pray that you will let it sink in deeply. Let it sit with you for a while. On your hard days when you blow it time and time again, on the frustrating days when it seems like you can’t possibly make a difference, or on your dark days when you’re searching for meaning and purpose for your life, take heart. God didn’t mess up. Our ultimate purpose in living is to glorify God. Ask Him to show you how to do that. It seems like such a big concept, but truly, it is often our small, everyday actions and words that bring Him glory. Beg Him to instill in you deep purpose for living when it seems like it’s just too hard. You were made in His image. You were given purpose, and your life has meaning.