By: Rev. Dr. Scott Sommerfeld, Interim Senior Pastor
The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation is a celebration of something lost being found.
Have you ever lost something important and valuable?
When you realize it is gone it is a very sad and horrible feeling!
My daughter-in-law lost her diamond engagement/wedding ring at the first of the year. When she didn’t know she had lost it--it was no big deal. Then it was a horrible discovery that led to great disappointment. That ring was filled with meaning—given to her as a pledge of faithfulness for a lifetime. Where could it be? They searched everywhere. It was truly lost!
It is also possible that something is lost slowly over time. Lost bit by bit so that it really isn’t even missed or noticed. That is what happened with the good news of Jesus as the Savior of all. People still preached about Jesus, but the life-transforming news that sinners were freely forgiven by a God of grace and mercy was lost! Lost was the amazing news that every sinner can rest assured in Jesus’ sacrifice. Resting in the saving work of Jesus was replaced with a teaching that everyone must strive to be lovely so God would love them.
Then a monk in a small university started an international uproar that would culminate with his rediscovery of the good news of Jesus, a rediscovery that every sinner (every person) can actually rest in the saving work of Jesus. Jesus did the striving for our salvation as He lived, died and rose again, always loving God and loving his neighbor. Rediscovered was the folly of every person (every sinner) striving to accomplish what Jesus alone had already accomplished by His striving.
Today we mark the 500th Anniversary of this life-transforming rediscovery that every person can be freely saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone as taught in Scripture alone. While we rejoice in the rediscovery through the monk turned professor --Martin Luther-- the focus is not on this faithful servant, but on our faithful God who made sure what was lost—was once again found.
This discovery brings peace for today and life that will never end and last forever. No wonder we celebrate with so much excitement! Finding salvation as a true gift from God is the best discovery ever. Then we go from being lost to being found. Our celebration even exceeds the one that followed my granddaughter finding her mother’s diamond ring.
See you this weekend as we celebrate!!