Monday, October 27, 2014

"How is Your Reformation?"

Most Presbyterians greet Reformation Sunday with a yawn. It wasn’t always that way, but times change. And that, when you come to think about it, is what the day is all about, making changes and reforming the church. While many individuals had a hand in rattling the rafters of the church, Martin Luther is considered the father of the Protestant Reformation. 

The winds of reform were blowing all across Europe when Martin Luther was born at Eisleben, in Saxon of Germany in 1483. His parents were simple folks; his dad was a poor peasant miner. And like all parents, they wanted their son to have a better life.  In spite of being poor, his parents insisted that Martin get a good education and study law.

Luther did his best to accommodate his parents’ wishes, but after almost getting stuck by lightening during a severe thunderstorm, Martin got serious about religion and entered a monastery.
 For most of his life, Luther was scared to death of God. Fortunately for him, he met a sensitive mentor at the monastery who helped point Luther “from cringing before a vengeful Deity to a joyous response to the loving forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ.”

 I have to believe that was the most powerful reformation of all, moving from believing in a vengeful God to a loving God. I wonder if most people see God as loving, or do some still fear God? I want to believe everyone knows exactly what the Bibles says, “God is love” (I John 4: 16)

A motto of the reformed church is “Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda.” We might best understand the meaning as “the church reformed, always being reformed". In the early days, as now, the source of the reforming was “"sola scriptura" (Scripture alone). I like that, always being reformed based on the word of God.  Our church as a whole and we as members of it can seek and enjoy the possibility of God-given progress.

Are there changes you think we might make at Sardis to show even more that “God is love”? More important, are there changes you think we might make in our daily lives to show others that no matter what else you might say about God, you have to say, “God is love”? Who knows, if we are always being reformed, then I am sure each of us has a wonderful part to play in that ongoing reformation.

  • Dr Kort wishes to acknowledge William P. Barker, Who’s Who in Church History, for much of the material in this blog

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