The Reformation continues on

It has been almost a month since we reached and celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Oct. 31. So is that it? A year of celebration and now we go back to life as usual? Did the Reformation even cross our minds as we gave thanks to God, this past Thursday, for all His blessings? Probably not. That’s fine. It is not important that we remember the Reformation per se, but we do need to remember and continually relive the effects of the Reformation.

Tomorrow is the Last Sunday of the Church Year, also known as Christ the King Sunday. It is a time we take to focus on Jesus’ promise to return at the end of time. A time often called Judgment Day because on that day He will come in all His glory and might to judge the living and the dead. God’s great truth, that was again set free by the Reformation, helps us to look to that day with joy and anticipation and not fearful dread and foreboding.

Even though no one knows the exact day when His coming will take place, God gives us all that we need to be always ready for His coming and filled with the hope of an eternal heavenly reward. None of it depends on who we are or how we have lived. It all depends on God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, who has redeemed us from our sins and covered us with His perfection. That is why He died on a cross. Perfectly innocent, having perfectly obeyed God His Father, He let Himself be punished like a criminal. In His death He felt God’s full wrath. For our sakes He endured the temporal and eternal death we all deserve. He did it totally, purely out of love for us.

The assurance that Jesus’ suffering and death can truly save all people is seen in the fact that He did not stay dead. Being perfect and perfectly obedient to God, death could not hold Him! He has gotten us the victory over sin, death and the devil. In Jesus all can stand before the holy, perfect, righteous God without fear. Even more than not being afraid we now love Him because He first loved us.

So we can live for God freed from judgment and freed to love God and our fellow man. What a difference that makes in our lives today and everyday. We are not yet perfect but because of Jesus we have God’s forgiveness and the promise of perfection in eternity. God helps us to try to love all people with His love. He is at work in us helping to share His love with others using our words and our actions even as we look to the future with hope and joy.

We would like you to know and live in God’s love. Please visit or contact visit: St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church, Gowanda (532-4342), or Trinity Lutheran Church, Silver Creek (934-2002).