This coming Sunday is Reformation Sunday. Just two days later is the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, which began when Martin Luther nailed a document of his top 95 (!) arguments with the way church leaders had been running things, to the door of his local church on October 31, 1517. In retrospect, this document was his own version of “I Am a Church Member.”
13 years later, Martin Luther also wrote the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” This hymn, an exploration of Psalm 46, became the battle cry of those who would soon lay down their lives to bring the Church in line with God’s Word. Just read these two final stanzas of this hymn…
And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him
He rage we can endure,
for lo! his doom is sure:
One little word shall fell him.
That Word above all earthly pow’rs,
no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
through Him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also
The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still:
His kingdom is forever!
May we have the same faith, courage, and drive that these reformers had as we seek to become functional, unifying, selfless, praying, influential, and grateful church members.