Yesterday marked the beginning of Reformation Month. As a Bible-thumping Evangelical Christian, this couldn’t excite me more! This year’s Halloween is also the five hundredth anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses on the wooden doors of the church in Wittenberg. Over five hundred years ago, reformers gave the modern world the ability to worship God freely and without ritual—to worship God in spirit and in truth (see John 4:23-24, NKJV).
I now give you five ideas to commemorate this beautiful, exciting event–the 500th anniversary of Luther’s daring revolution.
Pray for the church.
“…[W]e will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” ~Acts 6:4, NKJV
Thank God for the freedom we have to worship Him without another “mediator” standing in the way. Pray for those who practice the Protestant faith but are forced to do so in hiding. You can also intercede for those who are unsaved. In any event, use the time God has given you on this earth to love on the brethren.
Read the Scriptures.
“Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed…” ~Acts 17:10-12a
Luther’s rebellion, after all, started with opening the Bible. He wasn’t just another person who blindly followed the whims and doctrines of the pope; he refused that self-professed stand-in between God and man. Martin Luther was unique because He opened his Bible. If he did not, we’d be in a wretched situation today.
But I don’t ask you to do this because Luther did it. I ask you to read the Scriptures because they haven’t changed. The Bible is still the word of God. The Bible still convicts souls. The Bible still carries the same freedom Luther (and eventually the whole Roman Catholic realm) found five hundred years ago. And the Bible will stay there for you, overflowing with peace-giving truth.
Martin Luther rebelled against the church on October 31, 1517. That means while we’re celebrating freedom from sin, the rest of the world is celebrating slavery to sin with Halloween. It’s one of the ironies I find the most shocking.
For the record, I don’t participate in trick-or-treating; but I still love to dress up and would love to get in the character of the people surrounding the Reformation. If that kind of person is you, don’t be afraid to dress like Martin Luther or his wife, Katarina von Bora. My only injunction is that you set your motives straight and be modest about it.
Worship God by singing one of Luther’s hymns.
“And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!'” ~Revelation 15:2-3
Martin Luther said this about singing (www.azquotes.com/quote/950681):
“I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people joyful; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.”
Singing literally brings heaven to earth. It brings believers into closer communion with one another, causes our souls to remember Christ’s bloody sacrifice, and celebrates the wedding of the Lamb. As such, it’s the perfect way to commemorate any spiritual event–especially the Reformation. I suggest that you start by singing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” (perhaps Luther’s most famous hymn) in honor of the great monk, but let me not dictate your heart and mouth’s worship. If you ask, God’s Spirit will guide your worship.
Tape the Ninety-Five Theses to your door and read them.
Or staple them. Or glue them. Or do it Luther-style by driving a nail into your precious front door.
I strongly encourage you to post the Ninety-Five Theses on your door. There’s almost no better way of celebrating the Reformation than reminding yourself of why Luther rebelled. In the theses we see just how corrupt and profane humanity can be when man takes the place of Christ. We see how much Luther reveled in the Scriptures. We see why the Reformation is worth remembering and celebrating.
And when those trick-or-treaters come, they’ll be surprised–but as I said before: If you’re going to implement this, set your motives straight so you will not be lording the truth over their heads.
In addition to all these tips, I also recommend reading about the Reformation. #1 New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas is releasing his Luther book TOMORROW(!), and it’s receiving extraordinary reviews already. Christian ministries like Ligonier and Answers in Genesis should have amazing materials celebrating the Reformation as well. Also, Zach Philip will be posting his thoughts on the Reformation here.
I’d like to close with another quote from Martin Luther (www.azquotes.com/quote/1411230):
“I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word, till soul and body sever. For though all things pass away, His Word shall stand forever.”
From my heart to yours…HAPPY REFORMATION MONTH!!!
October 2, 2017