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499 Years and Counting

10.01.16 | From Pastor's Desk | by Tom Hausch

    October 31, 2017 is the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. He is not only a hero of faith of Lutherans but of all Christians. He helped the whole church refocus on scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, and Christ alone for getting right with God. We all need heroes, great men and women we can look up to and in whose footsteps we can follow. These heroes of ours may be living – a parent, teacher, a famous person in the armed services, a member of our church. Or physically they be dead, that is, except as they still live on in our lives and hearts. The best place to find heroes is in the Bible. Here we find the perfect Hero, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Here we also find heroes of faith who lived their lives for God, men and women like Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Esther, Mary the mother of Jesus, Lydia, and Paul. Many are listed in Hebrews chapter 11. The Bible does not tell about all the great men and women of God. It does not mention all who lived in Bible times. And, of course, many Christians have lived and died since the Bible’s last chapter was written. One of these is Martin Luther. Born of humble parents in Eisleben, Germany, on November 10, 1483, Martin Luther grew up to live an adventurous, often dangerous life as a man of God. He became a man whose life taught many lessons to others. He became one of the great men whom to know is to gain something unusually worthwhile. Martin Luther still lives on today. He lives on most strongly in the lives of Christians who carry his name – the Lutherans and in particular to us – The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. Because of the Reformation, he lives on in the lives of many other Christians throughout the world. His thoughts, words, and actions have helped make Christian communities what they are today. As we remember Martin Luther, we remember him not as a god, but as a man of God. He was not a perfect man but an imperfect man. He knew his own weaknesses and sins only too well. That was the key in his life for God finding him and having a personal relationship with him through Jesus Christ. He was not a man who depended on himself, but a man who believed that through Christ all things were possible. Lutheran Hour Ministries has produced a three part study on Luther and the Reformation entitled “A Man Named Martin.” I have previewed the study and I believe it is very worthwhile. It helps to understand the context of the Reformation and the corruption in the church that led up to it. Each DVD presentation is 20 – 25 minutes in length and there is a discussion guide with questions and other helpful information about Luther and the Reformation which we will use after each presentation. This study will be presented in my Sunday School class on October, 16, 23, and 30, at 9:45. All participants will receive the study guide and a booklet call the “Reformation Twelve.” Both pamphlets have listed many additional free resources about Luther and the other key people of the Reformation. Martin Luther was the central figure of the Reformation, but he could never accomplish it by himself. Twelve people were the essential parts of the rise and the success of the Reformation. Interestingly enough, most of them never confessed the faith that Luther rediscovered: five of them condemned it; one knew nothing of it, and four were indifferent to it. In fact, only two, in addition to Luther, would end up being called “Lutherans.” Please sign up for the class on the information counter in the entry so I have adequate materials. “Here I stand. God help me! Amen!” Pastor Tom