As mentioned last week October marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. An event that shaped what our church is today. 

In 1517 Martin Luther took 95 Theses or arguments and nailed them to the church door in Wittenburg Germany. These Theses called for debate between Martin Luther and the Catholic church. Luther called out the Catholic church on a number of practices and wanted to see those things reformed. 

Luther was called before the Diet of Worms in 1521 to defend these claims he had made about the Catholic church. At this gathering Martin Luther was given the chance to recant these claims, at which he delivered the line, “Here I stand! I cannot do otherwise! God help me! Amen!” 

In the ruling of the Diet of Worms Luther was condemned a heretic and could be killed. Fortunately for Luther he had some great friends, one in particular was Fredrick the Great a german prince who hid Luther in his castle for a year! 

Through the next few years the Reformation gained steam across Europe. The foundation of this spread is known as the “five solas,” five latin terms translating to: grace alone, by faith alone, through Christ alone, scripture alone, and glory to God alone. 

We today still hold true to these great truths which are based on the Word of God. Yet as we celebrate the Reformation this month we must remember it didn’t come without it’s troubles.  People began to see the corruption that had become the Catholic church and they began to split off creating their own churches. And some of these splits were nasty, even ending in bloodshed. 

This splitting and bloodshed is a sad part of the Reformation history. Maybe you have been part of a church that split and the pain from that is real. It hurts, it hurts bad. And when those in the church don’t get along, it hurts. But broken as we are these things will happen. 

In Acts we see Paul and Barnabas who were missionary partners have an argument and decide it better to go in different directions. Yet as we see later in Scripture we see God does great work through both Paul and Barnabas, even amidst their differences. God’s good news of salvation wins! It always will! 

When there is hurt - God wins! Where there is a split - God wins! When the Diet of Worms condemns you a heretic - God wins! 

We may have differences with our Catholic brothers and sisters but I can say we are both in the game of showing Christ and his love to others. 

And we long for the day when Christ will once again unite his church.