Re-form Your Faith for Fall!
As the mercury remains in the upper digits, we long for the weather to change, to feel fall’s crisp temps in the air, with the promise of campfires, favorite jackets, and all things pumpkin. For Lutherans, October means Reformation, a time to remember and honor the transformative faith of Martin Luther, who worked diligently and faithfully to reform the Church to better serve God and God’s people.
Last year we celebrated 500 years since Luther rocked Western civilization with his declaration that it is purely our faith in Christ, not our works or good behavior, that brings us into God’s grace. Luther lived in constant terror that God could never forgive him. As an Augustinian monk, he spent hours in the confessional, going over even the tiniest lapses in his character, fearful that God would condemn him. Then he stumbled onto Romans 1:17, "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith." Luther examined the entire New Testament, making notes in the life-giving discovery that God doesn’t need our good behavior or good works. God only wants our love and our faith in Christ Jesus, our acknowledgment that Jesus is God’s Son, sent to reconcile all people with God. As Lutheran Christians, we believe and affirm Christ’s saving action on the cross for all humanity. We trust in our baptism by which the Spirit joins us to Christ so that we, too, share in Christ's Resurrection and eternal life with God.
This October, as the days shorten and the temperatures fall, open your Bibles and take time to read God’s holy, Living Word. My prayer is that you’ll find your own renewal and transformation, strengthened faith and meaningful insight, as you discover the gift of God’s liberating, unconditional grace.
Peace to all here,