Joyfully Lutheran

Ok. It’s time to admit that I don’t particularly care for getting too innovative with punctuation. I’m joyfully Lutheran and there is joy in being fully Lutheran. Joy:fully Lutheran? Ok. I get it. But rather than linger too long on punctuation, that lovely clarifier of so much, I’ll jump to reviewing Why Am I Joy:Fully Lutheran? Instruction, Meditation, and Prayers on Luther’s Small Catechism instead. 🙂

Joyfully Lutheran Review

This is now my go-to gift for confirmands! Seriously, whether a middle schooler or an adult, there is a treasure trove in this devotional book. Narrative, Scripture, and the Small and Large Catechisms flow together, letting us recognize ourselves and God’s gifts to us in all their glory.

Instruction, Meditation, and Prayer: it’s all there and it’s all done very well! Suitable for laity and clergy, “oldies” and “newbies” to Lutheranism, too. 

Matthew Harrison is brilliant. After he translated Martin Luther’s booklet on how to pray, he applied those principles to produce this book, which follows the topics and text of the Small Catechism. Each brief chapter introduces elements of the Small Catechism and then delves into Scripture. Each then ends by asking the question, “Why Am I Joyfully Lutheran?” The answers explore God’s gifts and promises to us, followed by prayer that acknowledges what God has instructed and then gives thanks, confession, and petition.

Wonderful writing: clever, comforting, honest language that is easy to understand with messages and thoughts worth pondering again and again. And, every once in a while the author threw in an element or deeper teaching that caught me off-guard in the best way, leading me to think, “What great application of Scripture!”

This is such a great book that I can see handing it to non-Lutherans as an explanation of how we view and understand the Small Catechism. Hand it out in membership classes or in church visitor bags! Each of the kids should get a copy—again, go-to confirmation gift. Great for new or old Lutherans alike: family devotions, Lent or Advent reading, etc. Really fabulous.

So much to make us joyfully Lutheran! Thanks be to God!


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