This past weekend our the St. Paul Lutheran Church catechumens retreated to Somerset Beach Campground. It was an opportunity for relationships to be formed through the bonding love of Jesus Christ. 23 youth, 3 staff, and 3 other adult volunteers arrived safely. Without sledding, no serious accidents occurred during the weekend.
The focus of this retreat was the first three commandments and how they order how we live our daily lives.
The first couple of sessions made sure we were standing for our holiness on the work of Jesus and how our identity with God is transformed through the love of Jesus Christ. We are in Christ Jesus a new creation. It is in Jesus Christ’s merciful love and forgiveness we are transformed into saints. So as much as we were going to talk about God’s Law the catechumens were reminded our holiness is found in Jesus.
Next we introduced the purpose of God’s law and reminded each other that following God’s law does not climb us up the ladder rungs closer to God. The law works to curb our behavior, reveal our sinfulness, and guide our lives.
After the foundation of the purpose of the Law and Gospel had been set down, we then took the time to open the Small Catechism and discuss the first three commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods, 2) You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, and 3) Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.
We mixed in free time, recreation, sitting by the fire place, and some wonderful evening prayer. In evening prayer every catechumen received a blessing that reminded them that they are loved and redeemed by Jesus.
On Sunday morning the group attended St. Mark Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, Michigan. They all returned home safely.