Today, super-wife and I will worship at Trinity Lutheran Church near downtown Lansing, Michigan. I bet they will celebrate Reformation Day where the music will be pretty predictable and so will the sermon.
It would be easy to whip into church, sit in the pew, go through the motions and leave.
Reformation Day. So what?
What relevance does it have to my life today in the heart of Michigan? First, some context. Back in the sixteenth century the Roman Catholic Church had all kinds of rules about what it took to have your sins forgiven by God and to develop a relationship with Him. Usually it involved forking money over to the church and then doing something.
A Roman Catholic priest, Martin Luther, came along and found that the harder he tried to feel forgiven and to be close to God, the more he felt distant.
Back then, the Bible was not available to the masses and was reserved for church leaders. Luther got one, translated into the language of the masses. Along the way in his biblical studies, he found that there's only one way to God. You couldn't pay for it or do something to gain it.
You just had to believe that God provides forgiveness and hope by believing in his son.
What about today? Life here and life anywhere else can get pretty sucky and one can lose hope easily.
Reformation Day reminds us of the answer. It's in my favorite Bible verse from John 3:16.