It is still about Jesus and it always will be about Jesus! Martin Luther’s preaching, teaching, living and worship were dramatically changed when he understood, “…God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
There are wonderful celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in every corner of the Indiana District. We, like Luther, rejoice in the grace of God! We remind one another that we really live and believe and are redeemed by Faith alone, Grace alone and Scripture alone! We are sharing children’s plays, concerts, special services and a host of dinners, festivals and even Reformation parties!
Remembering the life and work of Martin Luther is important as we share with young and old alike how God renewed and enlivened the Church in 1517! The heritage of our Lutheran music is powerful and uplifting as we sing the chorales with dramatic instrumentation and full voice! Even the brats and a bit of beer add to the festive gatherings of many of our congregations!
Yet, it all still comes back to Jesus Christ who lived, died and rose for us! The powerful message of the Gospel is that we are loved and forgiven because of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus! Many of us celebrate our European roots and heritage and our traditional German meals. (Although some still prefer pizza over blood pudding or even schnitzel or sauerkraut.)
While many of us enjoy our earthly heritage we truly know that heritage of faith is the life we share in Christ and that extends much further back than 500 years and all the way to eternity!
It is a pleasure for me to attend so many Reformation celebrations and I hope it is for you too! I do love to sing Ein Feste Burg auf Deutsch, but my greatest joy is in knowing and singing, “Our victory has been won; the kingdom ours remaineth!” SDG