By Travis J. Scholl Commemorating the sixteenth-century events that came to be called the Protestant Reformation is more complicated than it used to be. Triumphalism—a certain weirdly coiffed presidential candidate notwithstanding—is no longer in vogue. We left it behind in favor of our more cosmopolitan sensibilities. Moreover, the drop in religious literacy has further problematized our ..
By Robert Rosin “Greeks seek wisdom,” Paul once wrote, and they had plenty to offer. Over the centuries, sages had tried to make sense of things with varied results. Their wisdom of the time had come to accept the idea of fundamental chaos as a starting reality, which they then sought to overlay with some ..
Another Reformation Day has come and gone. Each year the day gives us occasion to reflect on the significance of the upheavals of the Sixteenth Century—upheavals that changed the religious, social, and cultural landscape of the West, especially the western church. What was at stake? What was it all about? Was it worth it? .. ..
By Bruce Hartung Like the beginning of a great meal, Revelation 14:6–7 goes well with the psalm for this Sunday (Psalm 46) for the celebration of the Reformation. They are excellent companions because both express unshaking vision to see the presence and activity of God, even in the midst of great trial and calamity, even in the midst ..
By Bruce Schuchard The church’s celebration, its regular remembrance, of seminal events––like the Reformation––happens so that the faithful might be encouraged to remember and never to forget what the faithful must never forget. Thus, the chief, the simplest, the most fundamental, articles of the faith are the focus, so that the faithful might remain grounded, ..
By Jeffrey Kloha Christ Alone Three angels (14:6, 8, 9). Three announcements of judgment. And, at the end of the chapter, the sickle is put to the grapevines, the great winepress of God overflows, and the blood of the condemned flows for 1600 stadia. Not a text that one would typically use for a lesson ..
By Kent Burreson What have you come here to see? (Mt 11:7–9). This is one of the questions Jesus puts to the crowds at this turning point in Matthew’s Gospel as opposition to Jesus grows. Perhaps more appropriately, on Reformation Sunday the question should be: “What did you come here to do?” This alternate Gospel reading ..
by Gerhard Bode The pericope is commonly appointed for the festival of the Reformation. The assignment has less to do with the fact that Martin Luther was regarded by some of his contemporaries as the first (or even third) angel of the apocalypse and more to do with the Reformation’s emphasis on the good news ..
By William W. Schumacher The assignment of this text for the festival of the Reformation suggests the question: Was the Lutheran Reformation about freedom? Luther’s famous early work, “The Freedom of a Christian,” developed the idea of the paradoxical identity of one who has faith in Christ: both utterly free and completely devoted to service to ..