The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
We are just weeks away from the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! That is, it was what happened on October 31, 1517 in Wittenberg, Germany that is considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. On that day a not–very–wellknown monk and theology professor named Martin Luther posted 95 Theses (theological statements for debate) on Wittenberg’s Castle Church, sort of a university bulletin board. His readiness to debate these arguments would bring quick reaction from church authorities, but his challenging church authorities and their particular theology went “viral” because of a new invention, the printing press! And the rest is history (500 years’ worth and counting)!
Our Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is providing some interesting points this anniversary year about Martin Luther, his life, his theology, and other items of interest. Here are my thanks to Ebenezer’s communication team, especially including Julie Siomacco on Ebenezer’s Facebook page and Emily Brown on our website for making those points of interest available. Check them out for fun and good information.
For example, did you know:
“Every baptized Lutheran is a “born–again Christian.” And since that’s who we are, Luther said we are to start living that way—living our baptisms (Book of Concord, pages 359–360).” You will be learning soon about how special Ebenezer’s celebration of the Reformation will be on Sunday, October 29 in our Sunday worship, as planned and coordinated by David Turner, our outstanding Minister of Worship and Music. You will soon hear more about activities sponsored by our Faith Formation Team for the Reformation Celebration.
To be honest, I’ll have to miss those special occasions. Nancy and I will be part of a Lutheran group organized especially to be in Wittenberg Germany on October 31, the actual 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We’ll visit important sites in the life and ministry of Martin Luther in his journey of discovering the central teaching of the Reformation: “We know that Martin Luther considered justification by grace through faith the most important teaching of Christian faith—the one by which everything else we say and believe is judged (Luther’s Works, Vol. 21, page 59).”
While Nancy and I are there at the actual birthplace of the Reformation, I trust you all will be here at Ebenezer! I want you all here being part of that journey of discovery from 500 years ago as you participate with great joy during Ebenezer’s festival service of worship and the Faith Formation Reformation Fair on Reformation Sunday, October 29.
Pastor Mel Amundson,
Interim Senior Pastor