This year, especially this Fall, we are celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the nailing of Luther’s 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany. Many see this as the beginning of the Reformation that unfolded and evolved over the next several decades. The Reformation was not about a new theology per se, but about returning to the unchanged and unchanging truth of God’s Word. So it remains for us today. The celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is not a time for novelty. It is a time to review and perhaps return to the truth, the basics, the foundation of our faith.
I’m sure most of you remember the Small Catechism. Many of us were made to memorize the catechism (or at least part of it) during our Confirmation classes. Some of us might have even suffered through a public examination over its contents. How much do you still remember? It’s time to remember and emphasize the basic truths and teachings of God’s Word. Luther wrote the Small Catechism for the instruction of laypeople. He intended the Small Catechism to be used at church and in the home to instruct children in the faith and to reinforce the faith in the hearts and minds of adults. The catechism teaches the fundamentals of the Christian faith: the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Sacrament of Baptism, the Sacrament of the Altar and the Office of the Keys and Confession. This small book is well worth your time to re-read and study. It still serves as a basis for teaching the faith today!
This Fall we are going to take an overview look at the Reformation movement in our Sunday morning Bible classes, specifically Dr. Martin Luther: The Man; The Moment; The Movement. After that, probably this next winter, we will review Luther’s Small Catechism. Hopefully many of you will join us on Sundays at 9:15am to review and celebrate the blessing of the Reformation!
On Martin Luther’s birthday, Friday evening November 10th, we will gather together at the Orchard Park Country Club for a special program remembering Dr. Luther and the Reformation. Noted author and historian, Dr. Paul Maier will speak about the continued significance of the Reformation 500 years later. This should really be a very special evening that you won’t want to miss! If interested in attending this function you MUST sign up on the ‘sign-up’ sheet in the church narthex or email Teresa in the church office. Seating is limited and invitations have gone out to the area Lutheran churches. If you just show up that night and did not make a reservation, you could possibly be out of luck! Reservations are on a first come first serve basis.
May this celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation be a time when we recommit ourselves to the basic truth of God’s Word and Sacraments, and turn to Christ and His love. It’s still all about Jesus.
~Pastor Dennis J. Krueger