Sunday, October 29, 2017
Reflection on Luther's 500th Anniversary of 95 Theses
“Conservatism is the worship of Dead Revolutions.”
--Clinton Rossiter, US Historian and Constitutional Scholar
I do not want this in any way shape or form look to politics, but I do want us to turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther. As important a thinker as any who has shaped the modern world. He, in his thinking through the excesses and sins of the Roman Catholic Church, called the Church of God “back to its first love,” as the book of the Revelation puts it.
We come today, not to worship Luther, but to honor what he did. And I started with the Conservatism quote because I do not feel that Luther would want us to uphold what he did, but rather to live in the Spirit of what he did. In my opinion, one of the most Luther-esque acts we can make is to live in a state of personal and collective Reformation.
“God is not done with us yet!” Just as God was not done with Luther, as God is not done with the Catholic Church. You may not be aware, but in 1999 the Catholic Church actually declared that Luther was right. “...the subscribing Lutheran churches and the Roman Catholic Church are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God's grace through faith in Christ.” http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_31101999_cath-luth-joint-declaration_en.html
And isn’t that what Revolutions and Reformations are all about? Having the wrong come round and be made right?
In fact, with Pope Francis and other recent reformers in Rome, maybe the most Luther-esque act is for us to begin to work more closely with our Catholic brothers and sisters. Rome actually a public square to Luther this spring, endorsed by the Catholic Church. Times they are a’changin’. http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/03/16/hovering-over-rome-the-ghost-of-martin-luther/
So, as I started with tonight, may we also be Reformers always reforming, not in in the shape of Luther, but more and more into the likeness of Christ. I think if we were, Luther would be pleased. Amen.