“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-3
In many ways, these are tumultuous times. Many of the political winds are unsettling and uncomfortable. The global scene is confusing, even dangerous, and some of our national and global leaders seem a bit shaky at best! When you think about it, it has been this way since Adam and Eve decided they knew more than God. Ever since then, generation after generation has lived with a lot of confusion about what really matters. On more than one occasion, as the expression goes, they have “driven right into the ditch.”
Into this global confusion, two great men of faith took their stand. For Martin Luther, the Reformation of 1517 stands as a seminal moment in history where he was led to say, “Here I stand.” Long before that day, the Apostle Paul declared the central message of life and of the Church: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” The Apostle Paul and Martin Luther were educated men who actually knew quite a few things! They were well read, well connected, and careful observers of the world around them, but what they knew for sure—what mattered most—was Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
We hear a lot about “information overload” these days; however, no matter how much information is floating around, Jesus Christ crucified is the only information that makes us wise unto salvation. It was the certainty of God’s grace and forgiveness in Jesus that strengthened Paul’s ministry and Luther’s stand. The other information is interesting and even important, but not ultimately and eternally significant.
In these tumultuous and unsettling times, we stand where God’s people always stand—right at the foot of the cross. It is the only place where we can stand and live with confidence. The writer of the book of Hebrews says it this way, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
Regardless of what is happening or may happen in our world, we are united—One in Spirit and Purpose! We are not shaken; we are not disoriented, and we certainly do not drive into ditches! Instead, we are fed and nourished through Word and sacrament as we stand with the Apostle Paul, Luther, and all those who have gone before us in faith. The Reformation declares the freedom that we celebrate in the Holy Gospel. Saved by faith, not works of the Law!
Have a blessed Reformation as you remember the words of our Lord, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32