You may have heard that this October, Lutherans worldwide are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. You can be part of the celebration at St. John’s Lombard! See below for ways to commemorate this important moment in history. Here is some context on what we’re celebrating and how it affects us today.
What is it? The Reformation began in the early 1500s. In 1517, Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic priest, attempted to engage church leaders in conversation on such topics as repentance, salvation, and the authority of the Scriptures. Luther nailed 95 theses for debate to the castle church door at Wittenburg, Germany. This began a call for reform of certain church doctrines, resulting in Luther’s excommunication from the church. What emerged from Luther’s efforts? An emphasis on Scripture as the highest authority for doctrine, justification by grace through faith, and the priesthood of all believers. These tenets continue to be foundational in Lutheran theology. What also emerged was a new branch of Christianity known as “Protestant.” In actuality, Luther opened the door for other “reformers” like John Calvin and others.
What about today? Is our church perfect? No. As long as the church is made up of people, it will be an imperfect reflection of a perfect (Triune) God. Even as we thank God for solid theological underpinnings, our prayer is that God would continue reforming his church where needed, especially in our love for one another.
Celebrating Reformation 500 at St. John’s Lombard:
Each Sunday in October, we will be singing at least one Reformation-related hymn by Martin Luther and/or his colleagues.
Sunday, Oct. 15, 3:00 p.m.: The St. John’s Artist Series presents Dr. Steven Wente from Concordia University in an organ concert featuring many Reformation-related pieces.
Sunday, Oct. 22: 8:00 a.m: The Adult Handbell Choir will be playing a grand (and very tough) arrangement of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 11:00 a.m.:(Fellowship Hall) OWLS present a Luther Film and have a potluck luncheon. All are invited!
Sunday, October 29, 9:30-10:30 a.m.:(Fellowship Hall) During our small group time, Karl Bruhn and John Brust will present “History of Luther” slide show.
Sunday, October 29, 8 a.m.: We will celebrate the Reformation in music with festive songs and hymns for brass choir and organ, as well as the Senior Choir.
In addition, we’ve created a bulletin board downstairs by Fellowship Hall (across from the coat rack) that highlights Concordia events, Reformation events at other area churches, and a commemorative book you may wish to order. Be sure to take a look if you have a moment!
For much more information on the Lutheran Reformation 500, visit https://lutheranreformation.org