Reformation Day

Öèôðîâàÿ ðåïðîäóêöèÿ íàõîäèòñÿ â èíòåðíåò-ìóçåå gallerix.ruWhile most the world knows today as Halloween, on the church calendar, today is All Hallow’s Eve.  This is an important link to All Saint’s Day and the Reformation.

From Wikipedia:

In 1516–17, Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar and papal commissioner for indulgences, was sent to Germany to raise money to rebuild St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther wrote to Albrecht, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg, protesting against the sale of indulgences. He enclosed in his letter a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences,” which came to be known as The 95 Theses.[3] Hans Hillerbrand writes that Luther had no intention of confronting the church, but saw his disputation as a scholarly objection to church practices, and the tone of the writing is accordingly “searching, rather than doctrinaire.” Hillerbrand writes that there is nevertheless an undercurrent of challenge in several of the theses, particularly in Thesis 86, which asks: “Why does the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with the money of poor believers rather than with his own money?”

Luther objected to a saying attributed to Johann Tetzel that “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory [also attested as 'into heaven'] springs.” He insisted that, since forgiveness was God’s alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances.

The sale of indulgences shown in A Question to a Mintmaker, woodcut by Jörg Breu the Elder of Augsburg, circa 1530. According to Philipp Melanchthon, writing in 1546, Luther “wrote theses on indulgences and posted them on the church of All Saints on 31 October 1517″, an event now seen as sparking the Protestant Reformation. Some scholars have questioned Melanchthon’s account, since he did not move to Wittenberg until a year later and no contemporaneous evidence exists for Luther’s posting of the theses. Others counter that such evidence is unnecessary because it was the custom at Wittenberg university to advertise a disputation by posting theses on the door of All Saints’ Church, also known as “Castle Church”.

As I was browsing through my feed reader today, I found several interesting articles on the Reformation and what it means to us today.

Ken Schenck – Quick Thoughts on the Reformation

The Gospel Coalition – Luther’s 95 Theses 

Reformation: Then and Now

See you tomorrow for All Saint’s Day

The Nicene Creed

I learned something new about this today.  This creed is different than what we usually say is the Nicene Creed.  The part that follows the teaching about the Holy Spirit is part of the Creed of Constantinople.  Which we will learn about next week.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night ThoughtsA purple sky to close the day
I wade the surf where dolphins play
The taste of salt, the dance of waves
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

A lightning flash, my pounding heart
A breaching whale, a shooting star
Give testimony that you are
And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh, praise Him, all His mighty works
There is no language where you can’t be heard
Your song goes out to all the Earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Wow!  God is so amazing.  If you are one of my followers on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, you will have seen many, many sunrise and sunset pictures.  One of the reasons is that I am up when the sunrises these days.  And our sunrises have been absolutely stunning.  As I sat down at the computer to write this, I pulled up a playlist called “MSG.”  It was a collection of softer worship songs that I compiled for our district Minister and Spouses Gathering several years ago.  I keep it on the computer when I need an easy listening worship set – like tonight – today was one of those days – and I mean that in a very good way.  God’s grace just overflowed like I haven’t felt it in a long time.  Even now I am just basking in his grace and presence.  The Chris Rice song that I quoted was the first song on that playlist followed by Casting Crown’s “And Now My Lifesong Sings to You.” And now “The Doxology.”

This has been an amazing weekend.  It started on Thursday during our small group as we studied the concept that God is our loving heavenly Father.  Yesterday, I woke up and waited so Anna could go to work and I could go out for a long run – which was amazing in and of itself.  James, Pam and I were able to spend most of the rest of the day together as we got ready for tonight’s Trunk-or-Treat.

This morning we got up and prepared our hearts for worship at Parkway – and we had a good service.  We started the day with a great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” Promise Keepers style in honor of Reformation Day, which also happens to be October 31.  You may wonder why a Wesleyan would honor Luther, but it just so happens that John Wesley was reading Martin Luther’s Preface to the Book of Romans the night he found his heart “strangely warmed” and the Methodist movement begun.  Martin Luther declared that salvation was by faith alone through grace and our worship set reflected that sentiment as we sang “Grace Greater Than Our Sin” and introduced “Your Grace Finds Me.” Pastor Barry preached a great message to complete our worship package.

This afternoon was spent getting prepared for our Trunk-or-Treat.  We had a great time as over 60 children and their parents came to our church for treats and snacks.  It was great – I wore the Chick-fil-A cow costume and we handed out coupons for free Ice Dream Cones at our local Chick-fil-A.  Thank you to all who helped with the evening.  Many hands indeed made light work.  Now it’s time to call it a night.  This week looks to return to a little more sense of normalcy.  Have a great week and keep pressing on!

Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main
October 26, 2014
Reformation Sunday
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation

Psalm 46
Songs of Worship
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
     Blessed Be Your Name
     Glory In the Highest
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
 Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Worship Through Giving – Your Grace Finds Me
Worship Through God’s Word
Song of Commitment
   Draw Me Close
Benediction

Prayer for the Week

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Almighty and everlasting God: Increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. And, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.