…and Christians never stop learning.
“God Himself is not ashamed to teach these things daily. He knows nothing better to teach. He always keeps teaching the same thing and does not take up anything new or different. All the saints know nothing better or different to learn and cannot finish learning this. Are we not the finest of all fellows to imagine that if we have once read or heard the catechism, we know it all and have no further need to read or learn? Can we finish learning in one hour what God Himself cannot finish teaching? He is engaged in teaching this from the beginning to the end of the world. All prophets, together with all saints, have been busy learning it, have ever remained students, and must continue to be students.” Martin Luther, “Longer Preface,” Large Catechism, sec. 16.
Traditional late medieval catechisms contained the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and other daily prayers. Luther continued this traditional format and added his own explanations. He completed his catechisms with sections on Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Confession and Absolution. Here Dr. Luther exhorts Christians to continue learning and listening to God’s Word and the catechism. The image of God as the consistent and constant teacher reflects Luther’s pedagogical emphasis on repetition of texts and the need for sinner/saints to be continually learning. In the school of Christ (a medieval monastic idea) one never graduates.