Martin Luther –Albrecht Aldorfer, 1480-1538
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
On our liturgical calendar, All Saints Day is November 1. The evening before All Saints Day is All Saints Eve (Halloween). Luther posted his ninety-five theses concerning the sale of indulgences on the eve of All Saints, 1517. We celebrate the Protestant Reformation on the Sunday closest to Reformation Day. This year many churches have planned commemorations of the 500th anniversary of Luther’s famous posting. There will be solemn processions and beer drinking contests, prayers of confession and music festivals. Luther’s reforms broke what he and others determined was the tyranny of Rome’s spiritual authority. Eventually Reformation principles opened wide, world-changing doors of learning, exploration and religious freedom. The Christian church splintered into denominations. Religious authority was relocated from Rome to the hearts of every baptized Christian. Spiritual energy was unleashed. People tried to read the Bible. Everyone became an expert. The secular world evolved. Atheists came out from under rocks. Spiritual insight as well as spiritual complacency followed.
The founding of nations, establishment of constitutional governments, pursuit of scientific research and new patterns of learning appeared. When Luther posted those 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church, he opened the door to the development of the Western world as it has been experienced for 500 years, for better and for worse.
Our service on Sunday will depart from normal patterns in favor of readings from Luther’s works (and from parts of the Bible that have become associated with the Reformation), singing of hymns by Luther and by one or two other Reformation-era hymn writers. Our service will be in-large-part the same as the one followed at St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton Lower Falls. Thank you to Kirsten Johnson for designing the service and for sharing it with us, and to the Rev. George Stevens and the Rev. Bruce Jacobson for their Christian friendship.
Periodically we take a moment to honor a long-time member of the congregation, or someone who has served the rest of us in an extraordinary way. Sunday, just a couple weeks after her birthday, we will thank Jane Olson for her many years of devotion to her faith through involvement at Peace.
Family Promise host weeks begin Sunday. Pray for the families who will come into our church and for the volunteers who will serve them. Family Promise is a core ministry of our congregation. I hope that all our members will try to find a way to help with the tasks of hospitality that fill the weeks.
Parents have been taking a poll about the Christmas program. If you have not yet voted, do so this week.
Bring in offerings of food for the Wayland Food Pantry. This is a good discipline for you when you come to church every week. Take something off your own pantry shelf and bring it with you. Before you go in for worship, place what you brought in the basket. Someone who does not have as much as you have will eventually take the item home.