Yesterday we celebrated Reformation Sunday, the day we remember the work of Martin Luther and other reformers 500 years ago; their work gave birth to the Lutheran Church and other Protestant denominations. I am grateful for the legacy that has been passed down to us by Martin Luther and his contemporaries. A few highlights include:
- Grace. If we only learn one thing about God, this is the most important. Grace is the undeserved love of God that we do nothing to earn but is freely given to us. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we are washed free of sin in our baptism and made anew. We are forgiven over and over.
- Assuring us that we do not have to be good enough for God. We are both saints and sinners and through God’s grace we are washed free of sin, being made anew each day.
- That we live in the now and the not yet. God is with us here on earth and we will be with God in heaven for all of eternity.
- Communion is for all people. You do not have to be worthy to receive it because in fact, none of us is “good enough.” God chooses to work through all of us broken and imperfect people.
- We have all receive gifts from God and are called into the many roles we have in life.
In addition, Luther translated the Bible into German, the language of the people and made it possible for us to read the Bible in our own language rather than Latin, Greek or Hebrew. He also wrote the Small Catechism, synthesizing the Christian faith into one small book that parents could use to teach the children their faith.
Let us pray using the words of Luther’s Morning Blessing from the Small Catechism:
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all harm and danger. I ask that you would also protect me today from sin and all evil, so that my life and actions may please you. Into your hands I commend myself: my body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.