From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of Reformation Sunday

Hi everyone,

Happy 501st Anniversary of the Reformation!  Yeah, I know 501 doesn’t sound nearly as glamorous as 500, but it’s still a big deal.  Well, actually, it isn’t that big of a deal when you really think about it as the past 501 years was really just happened due to the natural passage of time, but I think we should still make note of it.

I know not everyone reading this will be a history buff (actually, I’m not even one myself), but the Reformation happened almost 501 years ago, when Martin Luther hoped to reform the church to be more faithful, more inclusive, and more focused on God’s grace and the promises thereof.  And 501 year later, here we are…

…still reforming.

I think the beauty of our faith is that it evolves and changes and grows.  It acts like a relationship between us and God and each other, as we learn more, discover more, and see more of what is going on around us, the more we understand God working around us and through us, and changing us for the better.

To me, that is what the Reformation was about, to be changed by God’s grace from the inside out.  And that change doesn’t stop.  Sure, we weren’t around 501 years ago when this particular change started, but we see it changing still in our world today, in our churches, and in our personal lives.

And that isn’t a bad thing.

Let’s look at next week’s readings:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 46
Romans 3:19-28
John 8:31-36

The truth sets us free.  Free from assumptions, free from stifling traditions, free from the guilt of getting it wrong whenever we got it wrong.  We are free to love, to serve, and to be God’s children.  That is the promise that I hear from these passages, and I believe that promise is what sparked the Reformation and liberated us all to be open to the change within us.

Again, this isn’t a bad thing.  Rather we should welcome this change as we can learn to grow and evolve with the world around us.  Not necessarily to be more like the world, but that no matter what the world might through in our direction, the gospel will be ready to be seen and heard in the midst of it.

Life can be tough.  A lot of change happened in the municipal election yesterday.  And like it or not, we don’t know what the future holds for our towns and cities as new officials all over are being brought in.

However, we do know that God will be there in the midst of it.  We just need to learn how to recognise God’s presence, and learn to grow with it.  The Reformation reminds us of that change, not change for the sake of change, but change for the sake of the gospel, is how we are freed to live life in all abundance.

Change from slave to our own vices to freedom to experience God’s love and grace.  Change from fear of judgment and punishment to boldness to proclaim good news through our actions and lives.  Change from oppressive legalism to liberating forgiveness and hope.

Change in this regard isn’t bad.  Instead, it is welcomed and needed in so many areas of life.  Let’s be this change for the world.

Have a great week everyone!

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