Road to Reformation

Martin Luther (1483-1546) is in relation to the Reformation of the 16th century much like the opening notes of a great symphony – say Beethoven’s “Fifth” – which states the theme, is then taken-up by other instruments, and is finally absorbed into the developing pattern of music.

The incredible soul searching and trials (Anfech- tungen) of this man – most often solitary, but never alone – affected a renewal, a re-formation for the whole orchestration of the Catholic Church of his time. But not only so, as one of our congregational hymns makes claim and proclaims on this festive occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation ... yes, with great gusto and Geist ... “And still is ours today” (Now Thank We All Our God; v.1). As it will become clear to you by the end of this remarkable day (29 October 2017) among our family of First Lutheran Church and beyond ... “Who do they know of Luther who only Luther know?” (Gordon Rupp) By 1525 and still more by his death (which occurred while on a pastoral visit in his town of birth in Eisleben, on February 18, 1546)... Luther’s death was but one element, one grace note, in the Reformation symphony. In comparison with the great tides of history, even the giants are but dwarfs. Yet there are moments in world history, sometimes creative, sometimes destructive, or like the Reformation of Luther’s time, a bit of both, when it seems to matter that there are people who boldly speak-out in order to keep faith with their conscience – as informed by Holy Scripture and reason – and who in a dangerous hour stand firm because, God helping them, they cannot do otherwise.

Soli Deo gloria ...
“To God alone the glory”

John R. Christopherson, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor, First Lutheran Church
 

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