By Cindy Koch –
Well, the celebration has come and gone. Today, we begin to pack up the Luther storybooks and roll up our faux 95 Theses. Carefully, gently, we bubble wrap our Reformation items and store them next to the pumpkin tea lights for next October.
It was nice, wasn’t it? We enjoyed a beer and a bratwurst. We sang “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” We heard the stories of men who held the freedom of the Gospel above their very own life. We reflected on the amazing proclamation of salvation: saved by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ – alone.
I must confess, I’m a little sad to be putting our red celebratory banners back on the shelf today. This was a pivotal event in history and our modern Christian worship. Now, we fold it up very neatly so that it is ready for next fall. And this whole affair makes me wonder what kind of Reformation we just celebrated.
Let’s be honest, our church and culture are very different monsters from the ones that terrorized the 1500’s. Where the people were hungry from a medieval lack of information, we now have a disgusting amount of it, all of it. The blooming humanist movement which gave rise to the study of original languages and going “back to the source” for authority, is today destroyed by the popular authority of immediate media which is built by “likes” and “friends” and “shares”. You and I are not Luther, making our stand before hostile Popes and councils. We complacently enjoy religious tolerance, without the threat of being burned at the stake.
So maybe the Reformation for us is just a neat history lesson, remembering where we have been as a church. And I guess that’s why it’s tradition to pack it all up and store it on the shelf.
Saved by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ – alone. No, we can’t put this away for another year. Because this is who we are.
An amazing identity has been spoken into our ears. We are perfect children of the Holy God because He was merciful enough to give us a free gift. We have eternal life by no work of our own, we simply believe God’s promise to us. We are beloved forever because Christ exchanged our sin with His glory. We celebrate that during the Reformation we were once again reminded of who we are – loud and clear.
It is true, I am not a loud-mouthed monk. I am not a pastor. I am not a doctor or professor. I am not any kind of important vehicle to remind this torn up culture of the freedom on account of Christ alone. But I am a mommy. God placed me right in front of my children’s ears to remind them who they are.
Saved by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ – alone.
So I stand by you, mommies of the Reformation. Let’s keep those red banners flying. Today, don’t let the sparkles of the world tell our babies the deadly promises that won’t last. Today, don’t let false teachers of the Word twist Christ’s story into simple moral examples for these little ears. Today don’t let our identity in Christ alone be lost in the confusion of their tiny sinful hearts.
Keep fighting, mommies of the Reformation. Even today, it is still a matter of life and death for us and our children.