Here I Stand

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


This weekend we will lift up the theme of Halloween and the Reformation at GGCC. You will need to come to see what we do with Halloween, but I want to take the time here to share a few words about the Reformation.


Martin Luther, we all know, is the firestarter of the Protestant Reformation. (The movement to get the Roman Catholic Church to change its outlook on some things back in the early 1500’s). On October 31, 1517, Luther posted his 95 theses on the cathedral door at Wittenberg. He rejected the authority of the Pope and the church councils to determine the actions and beliefs by which a person could be saved. Luther believed that we were justified by faith, not the seven sacraments declared by the church. He believed that none of us needed a priest or a pope to pray to God for us, but that each of us had direct access to God. Luther translated the Bible into the language of the people so that, for the first time, the people could read it themselves. Luther’s words, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” echo through the centuries as a call of conscience to each of us.


The bad news is that just as the Roman Church predicted, Christianity split into an endless array of warring sects and arguing denominations. The good news is that the Christian faith now houses a boundless diversity of gifts. Further good news is that the Catholic Church itself immediately began its own ongoing reformation. Today Catholics sing "Almighty Fortress" in English Mass, one of Luther’s great hymns he wrote for the church (resource for this devotional was HERE I STAND BY Larry Reimer).


May we pray this week and always that the local and larger church of the risen Jesus will take seriously her opportunity to always be grounded in the one true God, while seeking to be ever reformed by the truth of the one true God.


See you on Sunday.


Still in one peace,


David J. Jensen

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