He's always been a favorite of mine, the good Doctor Luther. The record of his life never ceases to thrill me.
He was only a man who wanted, when nailing up his theses, to bring about a lively discussion with fellow scholars and theologians concerning the disturbing wrongs going on in his beloved church. He never intended to light the fires that turned the world on its head, that changed the church forever.
He was only a man with a passion for God and His truth. He was only a man in the right place at the right time, willing to be used by his God to do what needed doing.
His thought was:
to affirm that penance implies repentance,
that mortification of the flesh is useless accompanied with inner repentance,
that the merits of Christ alone bring forgiveness of sins,
that the real treasure of the church is the gospel of the Grace of God in Jesus Christ.
This date was the day Martin pounded his thesis on the Wittenberg door.
What a shame that we as the church (other than the High church, perhaps) have over looked this date.
God has always told his people to
to tell the Children".
I wonder if through the years we had taught the heroism of this man who gave his health and life through striving to preserve God's word and God's church,
who protected the scripture and preached God Truth in the face of persecution,
would we feel the need to work so hard putting together 'harvest parties' in an effort to counteract the Halloween hoopla which grows bigger every year? Wouldn't our own great celebration be in place? Perhaps then the children would have no desire, or at least less desire to follow the world on this date.
But back to Martin. I leave you with his oft quoted statement of defence before his accusers.
May it be the standard we hold high and follow, and may we teach the children.
"Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply,
I will answer without horns and without teeth.
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason-
I do not accept the authority of popes and councils,
for they have contradicted each other-
my conscience is captive to the Word of God.
I cannot and I will not recant anything,
for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.
God help me. Amen."