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Pastor Otten: Reformation 2017 is still about Jesus

By Pastor David Otten
Contributing writer
Posted on 11/1/2017, 1:00 AM

Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.

Sunday was the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation, and it is still about Jesus. Throughout this last year, many musical celebrations, worship services, media productions, studies, lectures and other activities have remembered this anniversary.

I was able to attend a two-day symposium at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis on the Reformation and a Reformation play at Metro East High School in Edwardsville.

I finished a number of journals and books focusing on Martin Luther and the Reformation, watched a PBS special on Luther, bought a number of souvenirs marking the occasion, and dedicated a number of worship services and articles to Reformation themes.

This last Sunday for Faith and Our Redeemer, the two Lutheran congregations I serve, was Reformation Sunday in which we held a special service. We did remember Luther nailing up the 95 Theses and even gave out free copies of the document. (If you would like a copy, please call me at (618) 273-9792).

We sang, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and other hymns that might be described as Reformation hymns. Yet, the theme and message of the worship service and activities was always Jesus! That is by His death on the cross and His resurrection alone, He won salvation for all that we are saved by grace alone or God's divine favor, that His promise of salvation is received through faith alone in the merits of Jesus and, finally, that it is Scripture alone on which we stand.

The Church does not stand or fall on Luther, but on our Savior Jesus Christ. Remembering the Reformation is more than remembering Luther's acts, but holding also and proclaiming the evangelical message based on Scripture alone. These teachings did not originate with Luther, but Jesus.

This is the essence of the Reformation -- not making a pilgrimage to Germany, singing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" or dressing the altar in red. The Reformation simply proclaims the Christian truths established by Jesus and proclaimed throughout God's word.

If you and your church are holding to Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone and Christ alone, then the Reformation is continuing with you.

Reformation 2017 is still about Jesus.

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