Join us tomorrow for our Reformation service at 11 am. The following reminder of its importance comes from the CLC daily e-mail devotions:
Tell someone, “This is a special weekend,” and they may quickly agree, “It sure is; it’s Halloween!” The sales of costumes, masks, and party supplies have skyrocketed in recent years. Halloween has never been more popular.
Yet for us, there is another, much more important event which makes this a special weekend–the Reformation. Our heritage as Lutherans goes back to the posting of the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517 and all the events which it sparked. But does it really matter all that much today? Life in 1500’s Germany seems far removed from our lives today. Still, the Reformation truly does matter, because it was not just about dissatisfaction with the organized church of the day, but of a person’s relationship with God. How can one be right with God? How can a person be sure of salvation? Where do you find hope for eternity?
From little on Luther was taught that salvation and peace with God hinged on obeying the Commandments and the rules of the church. Today, too, it’s popular to believe that working hard at being a “good person” must count for something before God. But Scripture says, “No one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20).
Peace with God and certainty of salvation can never come from our own efforts. How can they when we are sinful by nature and condemned by the Law to eternal death? What makes the Reformation worth remembering and celebrating is that it once again brought the good news of God’s grace out in the open. We are justified “freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
Our forgiveness, peace, salvation, and eternal future in glory are all a sure thing, because they do not depend in the least on anything we do. They have all been accomplished by Jesus for all people. That gospel message makes every day worth celebrating and offering praise to our gracious God. This weekend watch for opportunities to share with others just how special it is.
We thank the Lord for a safe and productive Fall 2016 Pastoral Conference! May He continue to keep us “steadfast in His Word”!
Lester Lange is a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Tacoma. He is fighting against stage four lung cancer and is unable to work. Please consider helping him out with a donation or prayer. Click HERE to help.