Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As you read this newsletter, you have been blessed to participate in a mark in history. We were blessed to see and be part of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The Reformation was not about anything new, but about returning to the unchanged and unchanging truth. So it is still today. The celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is not a time for novelty. It is a time of Re-formation. It was then. It is now. It will be always.
As we enter into the month of November, our witness of Jesus Christ does not stop on 31 October 2017. In fact, we are called now, to move more boldly as apostles of Christ. Together we can carry the Lutheran witness forward in church and society into the 21st Century, shining light on the writings by which we have been shaped, the Bible and Luther’s Small and Large catechisms. Have you stopped to think about the fact that you can now read your Bible on your phone because Luther translated it from Latin/Greek so that you and I can read it for ourselves.
What Luther discovered and helped uncover for us was that AMAZING word called “Grace.” For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Grace – it is everything. And if we take it seriously, it turns everything upside down. Grace – God’s disturbing, disruptive insistence on loving us. It turned things upside down then. It continues to do so now. It will continue always.
To think that God chooses to love us not because of what we’ve done or not done, that God loves us regardless of how we may measure up to others – that turns all our notions of what is fair, or right, or deserved on its head.
So as we move now into the next 500 years, even more important just the days immediately ahead of us. We give thanks for Grace. Let grace be grace; and give thanks and praise as once again God’s first and last word of love does it’s re-forming work in you, in me, in all of God’s precious world. God’s grace will continue to re-form as it did then. As it will now. As it will be always.
Pr. Paul <><