Pastor Craig
MOUNT ZION
LUTHERAN CHURCH
October 2017

"500 Years!!!"

 

This is it. October 31, 2017. The 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther wanting to have a discussion. The event caused CHANGE. Depending on what side of the fence you were on, you either saw it as a blessing or a curse. For many of the time, it was a breath of air breathed into a church that had become disconnected with the people whom God created. For the leaders of the church, it had to address some of their own feelings but did not have the framework or the confidence to proceed.

 

Change is never easy. A new idea or way of looking at something is difficult at best to get across. Statements such as, "Things are going fine." "This is how it has been and we are comfortable with it." "I know the church is not perfect, but we can live with that." "We don't know what will happen or what will be the consequences of this new ‘thing'." The Reformation was not easy. While Luther was the focus, there were others, who challenged, who prayed, who risked and at times lost their lives for the understandings of scripture that Martin Luther brought forth.

 

For me, Luther's understanding of the Priesthood of All Believers has been the driving force of my ministry. The feeling and understanding during Martin Luther's time was that the priesthood was a profession. As such the average person in the congregation was very content to "let the professionals do it." The feeling was that the priests of course knew the right way to do things and as such we would hate to worship God in a manner that would be displeasing to God. So everyone was content with this arrangement. It removed the chore of having to read, study, or even think about God in their everyday situations, because the priests would take care of it.

 

The changing of this feeling of letting the professionals do it, is what I believe Luther's greatest gift was to the children of God. To this end, Luther made God accessible to the average person. The ability to worship in one's one language. The ability to sing hymns as a congregation. Moreover, the ability to read the Bible, the actual word of God, and to study and to ask questions. This is what Luther did. He helped us see our role as God's children in an active way and not a passive one. He gave us permission to worship and to be children of God and not worry about doing it perfectly.

 

Luther's explanation to the 3rd article of the Apostles' Creed gives us the confidence we need to know we are God's children. Here is a portion of the words which Luther wrote; "I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and kept me in true faith.. . . This is most certainly true!"

 

This focus on the 500th Anniversary allows us to have a chance to renew our commitment and our understanding of where we have come from and with this foundation where we continue to go in God's blessed name.

 

In Christ,

 

Pastor Craig

Contact Pastor Craig at: prcraig@yahoo.com