St Andrew Lutheran Church 
  4420 Center Point Rd NE
  Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
  (319) 393-4021
  www.standrewlutheran.org

 

 

REFORMATION SUNDAY
October 25, 2015
 
            "My conscience is captive to the Word of God.  Thus I cannot and will not recant, for going against my conscience is neither safe nor salutary.  I can do no other, here I stand, God help me.  Amen."                                                         Martin Luther, April 18, 1521

 
            Reformation Sunday is coming up, and as Lutherans, we will sing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" and responsively sing or say Psalm 46: "God is our refuge and strength . . ."  We will hear the foundational words that moved Martin Luther to a new understanding of what it meant to be a Christian: ". . . since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. . ." (Romans  3:23, 24).  And we will hear Jesus' words to his disciples from the Gospel of John 8:31,32: "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  There is a degree of comfort and familiarity that we experience at worship on this uniquely Lutheran day. 

However, I'd like to suggest that this Sunday we check our comfort level at the door and consider what was happening throughout Europe in 1517, the year in which Martin Luther wrote his Ninety-five Theses and posted them on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg, Germany.  Art, literature, music, and science were developing and building on one another as the Renaissance swept across the continent.  Creativity was taking place on so many levels, and the times were ripe for a person of Luther's scholarship and spiritual depth to learn, to study, and to develop a new and clearer understanding of Christianity and God's relationship with his people. 

            Martin Luther didn't just write an article expressing his thoughts on the need for reform within the Church of Rome.  He called for a public debate, and to an extent, called the Church to task for the abuse of its powers.  The quote above is from Luther's appearance before the religious/political authority who had no intention of putting up with his challenge, and this short, straightforward statement has endured for centuries.  His statement of conscience is as clear today as anything our modern theologians or scholars could compose.

            Martin Luther's legacy is not only that of being a man of  God-given strength and conviction who was a key figure in a change of historic proportions.  His legacy also lives on in the insight and inspiration that guide us as we seek to live the lives to which we are called.  And the words still ring out, ". . . here I stand, God help me."
 
Your friend in Christ,
Mary Rogers

 
Worship Times
Holy Communion
  Saturday 5:30 pm
  Sunday 9:30 am

Christian Education
  Youth 10:45 am  
  Adult 10:45 am