We’ve just had Reformation Day and people are starting to look forward to the 500th anniversary of “The Reformation.” I often wonder how much people think about the effects of the Reformation.
There may be other things, but I want to keep our focus on how it affected our faith life. The Reformation was really about returning the church’s focus to the Gospel and the Scriptures from which it comes. When Martin Luther showed that the church teaches salvation comes when God gives us Christ’s righteousness, so much changed in the life of the Christian. Salvation came as God’s gift of grace received by faith. We remember that with the phrases by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Salvation by grace is massively important because it touches us in all parts of our faith life. One way that is easily overlooked is the way this truth changed worship. We no longer “sacrificed the Mass.” We received the Sacrament in the Divine Service. That changes the direction from “us doing for God” to “God giving us His gifts.” That is a blessing we continue to enjoy today.
Rather than being in church to “earn points” or “do enough” to please God, He invites us to come and receive from Him. God gives us the forgiveness of sins. He speaks to us His Word the Bible. Most intimate of all, Jesus our Lord touches us with his body and blood, coming to us with the bread and wine of the Lords Supper. As we share in these blessed gifts of God each week, they He bless you with his peace.
Rev. Don Stock is the Associate Pastor at St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church in Munster, Indiana.
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