Dear Friends and Members of Shepherd of the Hills,
“Here I stand I can do no other.” A quote from Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms when confronted with the content of his writings. He was called to retract what he had written because it disagreed with the Roman Church’s understanding of the Word of God and what it means to be a faithful Christian. Martin Luther did not confess that everything he wrote was perfectly in line with the Word of God, but asked that the things he wrote only be rejected or defended based on God’s Word.
“Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen”
We, who are brought into the faith through the Word of God and the waters of Holy Baptism, are subject to God’s Word. We are called to hear and cherish that same Word. We are called by faith to conform our beliefs and life to the Word of God.
Our life as disciples of Christ are to always wrestle with that Word; to learn, mark and inwardly digest that Word. Sometimes that Word of God brings us comfort and peace. Other times that Word challenges what we think and believe. We, like Dr. Luther, use the Scriptures and clear reason to learn and grow in our faith. This is the heart of the Reformation that we celebrate this next weekend.
This Reformation Sunday we celebrate Scripture alone, which reveals God’s grace alone, which comes by faith alone. This is who we are as Christians. Here we stand, we can do no other. Come join me this weekend as we celebrate this great faithful heritage that we have been handed and perpetuate in the life of our congregation and as individuals. Stay with me afterward as we fellowship together with beer and brats after service and bring a side to share. Blessed Reformation to all of you.
In His Love and Service,