First Reading: Revelation 14:6–7
Epistle: Romans 3:19–28
Gospel: John 8:31–36
Today is our observance of the Reformation. What is all the fuss about? Is this the day where we remember and give thanks for the 95 theses on indulgences that Luther (supposedly) nailed to the doors of the Castle Church on the eve of All Saints day in 1517? Perhaps we commemorate this day because this is when we Lutherans once again revel in our rich history and triumphantly look at other church bodies and say “Hah! We’re better than you!” Maybe this is just a glorified history lesson? Luther did this, his friends did that, the chains of papal authority were thrown off, and all the princes and dukes were happy about their new found powers. Is that what this is all about? Well no, actually that’s not it. It’s much easier than all of that, even though the history is interesting (for Reformation nerds like me at least) and it is important. Here it is: the Festival of the Reformation celebrates the righteousness of God restored to its original purity in the church.
“21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Ro 3:21–22).
It’s all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.