Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Despite the fact that we are all currently celebrating Luther and the Reformation I find myself commencing with a confession – an act generally more associated with the ‘other side of the doors’.
I am a Baptist. Gasp!
That fact had me retreating and trying to find a more appropriate ‘Lutheran person’ to write this refection for this special week. I clearly wasn’t successful.
But then it dawned. I too, am a descendant of that revolution begun 500 years ago – me and all the ‘descendant protestants’ spread all over the globe. What a legacy. And while the statistics of all the different people and different churches that have multiplied over 500 years are near incalculable, that data isn’t just what the revolution is.
Reformare, the Latin root of reformation, means to ‘form again’ or ‘to change’. We could argue reformation is ongoing; that the reforming is continuous and not just a single act at one point in time. Luther’s reformation wasn’t the 95 theses, it is everything that grows from those seeds. This raises the question of what does that reforming look like for us individually and for our communities?
Marcus J Borg in his book ‘Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time’, suggests that the secular culture of our times “looks to the material world for satisfaction and meaning. Its dominant values are … the three A’s – achievement, affluence, and appearance … with both our self-worth and level of satisfaction dependant on how we measure up to these cultural messages.” Luther’s reformation was founded on the revolutionary and alternative wisdom of Jesus and His teachings – not the prevailing culture of the times. Borg goes on to say that “The path of transformation of which Jesus spoke leads from a life of requirements and measuring up … to a life of relationship with God. It leads from a life of anxiety to a life of peace and trust. It leads from the bondage of self-preoccupation to the freedom of self-forgetfulness. It leads from life centred in culture to life centred in God.”
Imagine that as our ongoing and ‘reforming’ reformation for everyone in our communities …
I came that you have life in abundance? John 10:10b