As Lutheran Christians, we often celebrate our heritage, specifically finding the beginning of that heritage in 1517. There, as Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, Germany, the Reformation began and the early roots of Lutheran Christianity were set. Understanding Luther’s purpose, however, allows for Lutheran Christians to know that the formation of the “Lutheran Church” did not begin at Wittenburg in 1517. In all honesty, Luther would not EVER have wanted to form a separate division of the church. Instead, his purpose was to reform the sinful actions of the church at the time, seeking to draw God’s people closer to God’s Word. Sadly, the leadership of the church was not interested in seeking reform and, following the initial division of the church in the Great Schism, the Christian church was further divided. All of this history matters, of course, because of the need for us to reflect on our lives as Lutheran Christians today. If we are more interested in being called “Lutheran” above being called “Christian,” then we are not honoring our heritage, nor are we honoring our Heavenly Father. To truly live as Lutheran Christians, our desire must continually be to seek the unity of the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance to God’s Word. We cannot fail to understand that other divisions of Christianity might not agree with us, but that should not change our desire, nor our faithfulness. If anything, we must continue to seek out the church in all of its denominations, praying for peace, unity, and oneness in the Body of Christ. In doing so, we would certainly be honoring the work of Martin Luther – specifically the work that he began 500 years ago.
Peace & love in Jesus,