Dear Messiah Lutheran Church,
The 500th year of the Lutheran Reformation is upon us! Martin Luther after much thought, prayer and conversation with the Roman Catholic Church leaders decided to post his 95 Theses on the front of the church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. In doing so, he started the reformation of the church.
Martin Luther had concerns with how the church was administering the gospel. They were abusing people and making them buy "indulgences" for their loved ones and for themselves to work off their sins to get to heaven. Under those regulations, Luther felt extremely guilty that he could never work off all of his sins. Since all of the scriptures of the day were only written in Latin the language of the scholars and the original languages of Greek and Hebrew, most of the people had to take the Roman Catholic Church's word for it.
Luther decided to become a priest where he could read the scriptures for himself. And as he opened the scriptures he began to see the Grace of Christ. As he read the entire narrative found in the scriptures, things like Ephesians 2:8-10 "for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. "We are lost in our sin, but Jesus comes to us and transforms us not because we do anything, but because he loves us unconditionally. In that unconditional love, we are forgiven and given eternal life. He saw that it's really all about Jesus!
In essence, this is what the Lutheran reformation is about, getting back to scripture and seeing that "It's all about Jesus!
Today we celebrate that it's still about Jesus. Over the month of October we'll be focusing on "reforming into God's image" as we look at what we need to continue reforming to still make it all about Jesus! Over the Sundays in October our sermons will look at 5 major themes.
Reforming our faith - October 1
Reforming out Confession - October 8
Reforming our Evangelism - October 15
Reforming our Generosity - October 22
Reforming our Church - October 29
We'll also be celebrating with a reformation dinner on Sunday, October 8th at Messiah at 5:30pm.
If you'd like to learn more about the reformation in general, great articles can be found at www.lutheranreformation.org
I hope you will join us as we celebrate that "It's still all about Jesus!"