“The idea that changed the world.” That humanity is saved by faith through grace apart from the works of the law is the idea and it changed the world. We are very much a part of that history. So guess what? We’re going to celebrate. What is the Reformation? Why are we celebrating this year?
This year marks the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation.
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenburg, Germany, challenging the Church (we would call it the Roman Catholic Church) to change its thinking on the selling of indulgences and calling it to accept that it is only by the grace of God that Christians enter the kingdom of heaven (justification by faith alone). Challenged by the Pope and the cardinals, he would not recant, citing Scripture as his guide. In 1521 he was excommunicated but he went on to preach, teach and write, sparking the Protestant Reformation that has changed the face of the Church, and of history. His declaration that Christians could not buy or earn their way into heaven but only entered by God’s grace, marked a turning point in Christian thinking. His writings on the authority of Scripture reformed Christian theology and reshaped the Christian family.
Lutherans don’t get excited about much, but this, they are excited about. So you will likely hear of all kinds of events from many congregations throughout the world as they celebrate in special ways this year. In Winnipeg, and surrounding areas, congregations of the Red River Circuit will be celebrating at various times during the year, so feel free to participate with them. Here at Peace, we will even be planning something as well, and as those details arise, we will let you know.
Just think where we would be if we didn’t have the Gospel. For more information about the Reformation of 1517, the details surrounding it, the people involved, and how it has impacted our lives, checkout these websites. They are full of resources that you and your church can use to spread the Good News!: