Touché October 27, 2017

 

500 Years-Celebration and Lament

“Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”  Martin Luther

With those words and the 95 theses that followed, Luther started a reformation five hundred years ago on All Hallows Eve.  He never intended to start a new church.  He never intended to light a fire that would ignite a movement of over thirty thousand different denominations today.

Our own denomination, the Reformed Church in America, is in danger of fracturing around the understanding of human sexuality and interpretation of scripture.

This Sunday, we will sing Luther’s great hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, at both Gatherings and Foundations.  We will remember our heritage in our prayers and continue with our Fifty Days of Transformation.  You will hear the testimony of a couple who received grace to restore their marriage through a Roman Catholic ministry of marriage reconciliation.  We will acknowledge the five hundred years, but it will be a muted combination of celebration and lament.

In a world and a church that seems more divided than ever, we need to work together at reconciliation of marriages, relationships and religious groups.  It is not the time to lift up our fingers and say “we’re number one” on the road to heaven.  It is a time to extend our hands and say we are on this journey together.  This Thanksgiving we will once again worship with St. Columba, Valley Christian, The Vineyard and Resurrection Episcopal.  That is a cause for celebration.

Would Luther weep or rejoice on the five hundredth anniversary of his request to get people together out of a love for the truth? I am sure it would be a little of both as it will be for us on this Sunday.

Sola De Gloria,

Taylor