This past summer I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Wittenberg, Germany and explore the seat of the Reformation. I had the most delicious Burger at the WittenBurger in Wittenberg. And while seriously, that hamburger is well worth a travel to Europe, the thrill of seeing where Katie Luther kept Martin in line as he began the Reformation was a bucket list item I got to check off.
Of course, today being October 31 brings me right back to remembering all I learned while in Wittenberg. No matter your stance on candy or costumes, we can all agree that the celebration of Reformation Day is a great reminder to celebrate and honor the history of our Christian Faith. It was on October 31, 1517 that Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church in Germany. Since that time, the Christian faith has gone through a transformation and, as we enter into November and the season for Thanksgiving, we can thank our forefathers for rendering to us some of these changes which have now morphed into some of our most cherished Christian practices.
For example, Pastors preach sermons every Sunday as a main event in the Sunday service. This central focus of God’s word as a part of the service wasn’t normative 500 years ago. Often the sermon happened outside the church or was tagged on at the end. We enjoy great teaching today in our local churches and we can thank our reformers for that.
The Bible was translated and put into the hands of the untrained, everyday Christian and became the source of truth over the traditions of the church. The Reformers encouraged everyone to read, meditate upon, study and memorize God’s word as they considered it the well-spring of truth. We have the joy of independently reading God’s word and learning what the authors meant when they wrote it as well as have the indwelling Holy Spirit help each of us spiritually apply it; for some, we call this our daily Quiet Time. Even Katie Luther did this – and I love Katie Luther.
Besides preaching and the Bible, it is also possible to trace our freedoms of democracy and of religion to the Reformation. Martin Luther was a champion both for corporate reform and individual responsibility when it came to the expression of our Christian Faith. A great way to end October and begin November is to check out this book from Moody Publishers on the life of Martin Luther, https://www.moodypublishers.com/books/evangelism-and-discipleship/the-life-and-times-of-martin-luther/.
Dear Reader, if you ever get a chance to travel to Wittenberg, tell them I sent you and don’t forget to keep the light on. I may just show up to join you!
Blessings to you! Elizabeth