It’s been several months since my family began using Starr Meade’s book Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Heidelberg Catechism (previously written about here). Although our consistency is spotty (nothing new here), on the whole my wife and I agree that’s it’s been quite good. Overall our kids, ages 8-17 (not including our 19-year-old Yalie) are engaged, asking questions, learning, and don’t seem bored stiff (and all under 10 minutes). I’d call that a triumph. Moreover, they’re learning critical foundational truths derived from Scripture and building a vocabulary and rubric of faith with real life application.
Along with taking our kids through the Heidelberg for the first time, it’s also the first time my wife and I have methodically gone through it (not including various cursory readings). Which makes me wonder: why has it taken me this long to discover such a gem?
“Hey kids! For family devotions we’re going to start going through the Heidelberg Catechism!”
[Insert quizzical expressions, glassy-eyed stares or defiant exclamations.]
Thank God for Starr Meade.
Meade, a modern-day champion of catechisms, wrote a great resource for families, Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions Based on the Heidelberg Catechism.
Here’s how it works:
- Every Sunday you focus on two or three of the questions and answers from the HC.
- Monday though Saturday that week there is a brief devotional unpacking Sunday’s Q and A.
- After (or sometimes preceding) the devotional, there are accompanying Scripture passages to read (usually just a few verses) that relate both to the Q and A and the devotional for that day.
We have children in our home ranging from 8-17, and the devotional has enough depth combined with brevity that it strikes a nice balance. Simply put, it’s a nicely written and well presented book on the HC for families, especially families with little to no prior exposure to the HC (like mine). The book could even be a helpful devotional for couples without kids.
Finally, I purchased individual copies of the HC to give to everyone to review during the week. (Meade chose this version of the HC.)
Here’s the book’s trailer:
Download a sample of the book here.