Monday, October 31, 2016
Ordinary man, Extraordinary Destiny
The robed form quickly made it's way through the crowded streets.He seemed oblivious to the people around him as he walked, his chin down, and a parchment held tightly in his right hand. He seemed to have a destination in mind as he looked neither to the left, nor the right. His hand clenched and unclenched around the parchment, causing the passerby that saw him to wonder just exactly what it contained.
But, of even more interest, was the single nail and iron hammer held in his left hand.
Having made his way through the throng, the man unrolled the parchment and made his way up the steps of the cathedral. The door that led to the place of worship had become something of a community newspaper, where all the important decisions of the king and pope, as well as more local matters, were posted.
With purposeful strides the man reached the door and pressed the paper up against it. For a second his eyes scanned the ink that had been carefully written and ordered into ninety-five different points.
Then with a sudden, determined look, the man took the nail, placed it at the top of the paper, and brought the hammer down.
This man was Martin Luther, and this single action sparked the reformation of the church across Europe.
Exactly 499 years ago today, a spark was lit that would start a fire that would, in turn, blaze its way across Europe. Considered an act of treason by the Catholic church, those who taught that salvation was through grace and not works faced incredible punishments, and many of them lost their lives. Yet, they didn't care.
Teaching exactly what the scriptures taught, and getting the Bible into the hands of the common laborer was what was most important to them. From the reformation came the roots of the Anabaptist (baptist), Calvinist, Mennonite, Lutheran, Evangelical, Methodist, and Congregational churches, just to name a few.
Who would have thought that one man, following and obeying the leading of God in the small town of Whittenburg, Germany, would change the course of history? One hundred and three years later, people who followed teachings that came out of the Reformation (John Calvin's, particularly) , would come across the ocean in the Mayflower, and take their first steps on American soil.
They would lay the foundation for the Christian heritage of our country.
Martin Luther didn't only help change Germany, or even Europe. No, the far reaching effects of his obedience to God would make their way across the ocean.
So, while the rest of our country is celebrating a "holiday" that has nothing to do with Christ, let's remember those who came before us; those who were committed to teaching the truth of the Gospel, regardless of the consequences.
Happy Reformation Day, all!
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and not that of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV, Emphasis added)