This coming Sunday is Reformation Sunday. We celebrate this festival every year on the Sunday closest to October 31; this year is significant because it commemorates 500 years since Martin Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation. We will have our usual worship services and times Sunday morning; wear red, the color of the day, if you would like.
At 2:30 pm, you are invited to attend a Brats and Beer cook-out at the Motley home, in honor of the German heritage of Martin Luther. Don't like brats? We'll have hot dogs (meat and vegetarian) for those of us who prefer those. Not a beer drinker? Not to worry; other beverages, including hot cider and tea will be available. We'll also have some craft projects for children and adults and will collect donations for hurricane relief through Lutheran Disaster Relief.
It is tempting and would be so easy to look at the Reformation, especially this 500th anniversary of it, as an interesting historical event and nothing more. Luther the man, the history of his time and the forces that brought about the Lutheran church are fascinating and we can learn a lot from them. But reformation does not begin and end with one man at one point in time. Reformation is the ongoing work of God: creating, forgiving, moving the church beyond its historical identity to be a living, breathing organism that proclaims the love of God in a world that is starved for it. You and I are agents of a love that re-forms us every day, that forgives us, restores us and fills us with Christ's love, then calls us to share that love the way Jesus did - with those we see every day and with those who are not so easy to see or even to love. Martin Luther sometimes tired of all the attention he received when he challenged the church of his day. He bristled when people claimed to be his followers and wanted to call themselves "Lutherans." "It's about Jesus!," he would exclaim. Indeed, it is all about Jesus.
We keep in our prayers: Ginger Flynn, daughter of B.J. Bauermeister. Ginger is in the hospital in Spokane, Washington, following a car accident and is facing additional surgery in the coming week; Jan Fullbright, mother of Phil, who will have stent replacements in her heart on November 6; Gary Washam, brother of Debbie Fullbright; and the family of Michael Moles of Willis, who died following a logging accident last week. May God grant healing and hope to all we hold in our hearts and our prayers.
“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.”
- Martin Luther