Happy Reforme’en

 This day is not a confusing day for many, it is Halloween and that means costumes, trick or treat and candy.  Many children will be dressing up this evening, going to party and tracking around their neighborhoods to collect candy.  While I hope that parents and children will be safe while celebrating this holiday there is another holiday that comes to mind for Lutherans on this day.    On October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther posted 95 statements that he wished to discuss with his church.

 I’ll let Principal Chris Anderson’s prayer that he prayed this morning at assembly tell the story:

 

Dear Jesus, our Lord and our God:

Today is Reformation Day. On this day, nearly 500 years ago, a Catholic monk posted on the church door 95 truths that he had found in Your Word. These were 95 truths that the church of his day had somehow missed but mostly had chosen to ignore. The church did not want those truths to be revealed. They told the monk that he must deny that these 95 statements were true and tell everyone that he was mistaken. But Martin Luther could not do that. He knew these were not his truths, but Your truths. They were not taken from his words, but from Your word–from the Holy Bible itself.

 Luther said that if we are correct and right in our Christian life at every point, but refuse to stand for the truth at a particular point where the battle rages–then we are traitors to Christ; and he was no traitor to Christ. He chose to believe God’s word over the words of men, even though this belief put his life in jeopardy.

Luther later said that every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying. These are the two things with which no other man can assist him. Believing and dying are handled privately between each person and You.

Those who reject You as their Savior, believe that death overcomes faith in You. They will say that each believer will know he has believed a lie when death comes to him. They tell us that death will conquer belief. But those of us who have faith in You–those of us who believe that You are the Son of God who came to earth by His grace to save us from our sinfulness; we believe that our faith in You will conquer death. For we know that death is already a defeated foe–defeated by your Resurrection on that first Easter morning. And today, just as Martin Luther did, almost 500 years ago, we stand up for You and Your word. We know that belief conquers death. Because we believe, we will never die. May we maintain our allegiance to you in every circumstance throughout our entire lives. In Your Holy Name we pray, AMEN.

 

Although these two pictures don’t go together very well they point to the two pictures in the minds of all those who recognize the significance of this day for the Christian church.  Amid the fun of the day I hope another important event of this day will come to mind.  Have a safe Halloween and Happy Reformation Day.

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