“But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and
the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” Romans
Dear Redeemer Family:
It is hard to believe that we are going into October already. Of course, I’m glad that the 90
degree weather is over. In fact, as I write this, it is only in the 70s and raining! Things are changing. And
that’s important. All things change. It is the nature of all things. And October is important for that,
especially for Lutherans. At the end of this month, we will remember that Martin Luther posted his 95
Theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. And that is fondly remembered as the
beginning of the Reformation. And what is “reformation?” Change.
All things change. Luther’s was a call to go back to the Gospel as recorded in the New Testament.
He wished to change the way that it was presented in his place and time, which had picked up a lot of
human “adiaphora” items. Adiaphora is the term that the Reformers used. It means “unnecessary.”
These were mainly things that had somehow gotten added to the Church’s tradition. Some were bad.
Some were pretty good, or nice. As Lutherans, we know that “works righteousness” was bad. If it was
something required, or demanded, it was very bad. Somethings were not so bad. Examples of not so bad
would be; stained glass windows, organ music, etc. They were “adiaphora,” but nice. They enhanced the
worship experience. They still do. So, in some ways, Luther wanted to clean house in the sense of literally
going through things which were taken for granted by the members of the Church. The question was, “Is
this necessary or not necessary?” What was absolutely necessary is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, summed
up in, “We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.” That is essential. All else was up for
review, or reform, to put it simply.
All things change. Over the last year and a half, the world has had to change, and that because of
a little tiny virus. We have had to change how we worship. How we interact with each other. How we go
out in public and distance ourselves. We are still recommending that people wear a mask in services, and
a fair number of members do. Even handwashing is now a bigger factor in people’s lives. We have joined
the “online church.” We are now in a “surge” of that little tiny virus, which is predicted to peak this
month. But, we have adjusted our lives to handle it better, to keep ourselves and neighbors safe. We
have had to move to a continual Holy Communion, individual cups only. But that is safer. We have
adapted to this current issue. We have actually been through this before. Unfortunately, that was over a
century ago, and so it was a long re-learning process. But, we reviewed. We reformed. We have kept
what is absolutely necessary, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, we have tweaked the rest. Some day,
hopefully soon, this will all be behind us. But, we will always need to review and reform as we move
forward into God’s new day. For everything changes. Everything renews. Everything reforms. Praise be to
God. For we are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, not by what we do.