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Happy Reformation Day!

October 31 is considered Reformation Day in the Lutheran Church.

(Of which I am a member).

October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther hammering his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Church door.

It’s important to note that Luther was not attempting to overturn the Roman Catholic Church of which he was a monk.

Luther saw issues in the church that he wanted to be reformed, for the good of the believers.

I’m not going to attempt to explain all that, but just want to note October 31 marked a turn in how people viewed God.

That’s what Reformation Day means to me.

We’re all sinners

No matter our religion, we’re all sinners. Romans 3:23 reminds us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

That includes members of the Lutheran church. Not to mention me, daily.

For me, Luther’s insistence on translating the Bible into the common tongue means I can read it myself. In reading it, I often am confronted by my sin nature.

It helps me recognize how to and where I need to confess sin.

Reformation Day, Martin Luther, 95 Theses, how my life is better because of the Reformation, Lutheran Church, Wittenberg Door, 500th anniversary

Law and Grace (Cranach through Wikipedia Commons)

(Lutherans are big on the balance between Law and Grace. It’s important and sometimes feels like a seesaw.)

Meanwhile, I don’t need someone else to interpret Scripture to me as a result of the Reformation. (Though, I read those notes at the bottom of the Bible all the time).

I can see for myself what God wants me to know. And since the Bible changes with each reading–not because the Bible changes but because I approach it each day with fresh eyes and experiences–I can read it and apply the truth to myself.

God is open to me

When Jesus died on the cross, the enormous rug-like curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from everyone except the High Priest, split from the top down.

That “curtain” extremely thick and mounted high above, tore from the TOP, not the bottom.

Torn in two, it signifed God was now accessible to men and women personally.

I can come to God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit in prayer and ask Him to show me my sins.

From there, I can confess those sins to God–no matter where I am.

He becomes personally knowable for that reason.

Reformation Day allowed me to recognize that truth.

Great fellowship

Okay, I attend a Lutheran church. No one goes away hungry! 🙂

We sing together in four-part harmony (sometimes). We pray for each other with honesty.

All three Lutheran churches we’ve attended embraced my family.

Bible study is important to Lutherans–both individual study and group study.

Reformation Day, Martin Luther, 95 Theses, how my life is better because of the Reformation, Lutheran Church, Wittenberg Door, 500th anniversary

Julius Huber (Wikipedia Commons)

I’ve learned so much about God in these settings.

It’s an enormous honor for me to gather, as I did today, with the wonderful saints in my Bible study. (Who range in age from 61 to 99. I’m the youngest and the teacher).

Reformation Day as a paean to Martin Luther?

No.

Martin Luther was as flawed and in need of forgiveness as me.

Give a choice, he would not have nailed those theses to the door.

But the Holy Spirit drove him to it and a result, terrible things happened.

You can read about Luther’s life and the difficult of reformation in the church in several recent books.

Eric Metaxas’s Martin Luther is one. My friend Michelle DeRusha’s Katarina and Martin Luther is another.

Reforming the church, whether it be through Jesus or any of the other church fathers, was difficult and hard for many.

But I know Jesus as a result.

I regret how difficult it was, and continues to be, but I’m thankful.

Tweetables

Happy Reformation Day and what it means. Click to Tweet

Is Reformation Day a celebration of Martin Luther? He’d say no. Click to Tweet

Personally knowing God; the results of Reformation Day. Click to Tweet

 

 

 

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