Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reformation Sunday or All Saints Day?

Tomorrow we have our choice -- we can go with Reformation Sunday or All Saints Day. We can sing "For All the Saints" or "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." Being that I pastor neither a Lutheran nor a Presbyterian Church, and thus my connections as a Disciple to the Reformation of the 16th century are more derivative than direct, and perhaps because my sermon tomorrow has to do with the Worship of God, we'll take the All Saints Day route. But, instead of For All the Saints, we'll be singing Holy, Holy, Holy.

But, it would be appropriate to note that it was on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther launched the Reformation of the 16th century by publishing his "95 Theses," inviting a debate on matters of reform within the Catholic Church, with special attention given to indulgences and purgatory. It's only later that he is evicted from that church and helps found a new community of faith.

One principal of the Reformation that would be appropriate to remember today is the one that goes by the tune of "Reformata et Semper Reformanda" -- "Reformed and Always Reforming." And such should be our motto, especially the latter part of the statement -- for we should always be seeking to reform our practice of the faith, as we listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Reformers understood well that reform was an ongoing effort and not once for all!


Chris said...

Great blog. It's nice to see a pastor in the mix. You should read the small catachism by Martin Luther. It might give you aother perspective of Church history. I have a political blog you might like. I give a Christian perspective to many of my posts.

Anonymous said...

Reformation? You mean Vatican II?
Kidding. David Mc

joel said...

Good choice. I always have a preference for celebrating the larger church rather than a single subset of the universal church.

Do you feel it is still appropriate to celebrate Reformation Sunday? Given the modern ecumenical climate could it be construed as a celebration of Christian division? What does it mean to celebrate the Reformation in light of Vatican II?

Besides, can October 31 really be given the full responsibility for the reformation anyways?

Thanks for raising this question, Reformation Sunday almost silently passed me by this year.