On this day, the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we must ask ourselves: What would victory look like for the Reformation? And have we reached that point?
Is victory the unification of Catholic and Lutheran churches? Is victory unification of all Christendom?
Is victory joint statements on doctrines and beliefs?
Is victory the honoring of Martin Luther and the reformers?
Is victory the abolishing of the papal office? Is victory the reinstatement of papal authority in Lutheran churches?
Is victory priests being allowed to married? Is victory women as pastors in all denominations?
Perhaps victory is none of these things. Nor do any of these things count as benchmarks towards an invisible finish line.
In the vein of the passion of the reformers, victory is only found in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, and the glorification of God. The heart of the reformers was set on seeking, discovering, and loving God in a way that was truly right and good. So we too, must view victory as a passion for Jesus Christ and His Eternal Kingdom.
Now, we must understand that there are realities of the Reformation that are sobering and there are also aspects that are edifying. However, regardless of the right and wrong results of the Reformation, our society today is still influenced by the work of all the reformers that have gone before. There is no way to turn back the clock and act as if the events of 1517 (and the surround time period) did not happen. So the choice for us now, is only one: to go forward.
How then do we go forward on this seemingly endless Reformation quest?
We must continue to nurture our rooted and fruitful faith. Developing roots in seeking, discovering, and loving God, pursuing truths that are eternal; while at the same time, finding ways to use our faith in action, for the betterment of society and for the glory of the Eternal Kingdom. We rely on the grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, to accomplish this and we continually strive forward, always reforming ourselves and our surroundings.
In the end, we find ourselves back at where this blog started, asking ourselves some of the same questions at the beginning of this journey:
How can the Reformation be relevant in today’s modern world?
How should I make the Reformation relevant in my daily life?