“What is your only comfort in life and in death?” Heidelberg Catechism, Question 1
I am back to Heidelberg. Probably not a daily series as I’ve done before, but a few quotes from this great little book a friend just told me about: Kevin DeYoung’sThe Good News We Almost Forgot. (What a great title, right?)
Here’s what he says about Heidelberg Question 1:
“Heidelberg’s first question is so striking because of the word ‘only.’ If it asked ‘what comforts’ you, that would be a polite but underwhelming question. I’m comforted by sleep, chocolate chip cookies, a good book, the soundtrack to The Mission. But when the Catechism asks what is your only comfort, it is getting at something deeper. ’Comfort’ translates the German word trost, which was in turn, rendered consolatio in the first official Latin version. ‘Trost’ is related to the English word ‘trust’ and has the root meaning of ‘certainty’ or ‘protection.’ Heidelberg is asking, ‘What is your solace in life? What is your only real security?’
…[it] poses the most important question we will ever face. What enables yoiu to endure life and face death unafraid? Is it that you read your Bible every day? That you attend church every Sunday? That you give to the poor? That you have a cushy retirement account saved up? That you haven’t committed any of the big sins of life?
We live in a world where we take comfort in possessions, pride, power, and position. But the Catechism teaches us that our only comfort comes from the fact that we don’t even belong to ourselves. How countercultural and counterintiuitive! We can endure suffering and disappointment in life and face death and the life to come without fear or judgment, not because of what we’ve done or what we own or who we are, but because of what we do not possess, namely, our own selves.”
WOW, WOW, WOW, and WOW!!
Think about it: What gives you comfort in life? What difference does it make in the challenges and joys of the day ahead that you belong to Christ?
“That I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” (First part of Heidelberg Answer #1)