Well, here we are two days after the celebration of the beginning of the Reformation of the church. All Hallowed Eve and Halloween were celebrated on Monday, and yesterday we looked back at an action-packed weekend last week. Churches on Sunday, October 30 likely talked about All Hallowed Eve, the day before All Saint’s Day where Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to the door at the church in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther knew full well that by the time the night was over, everyone in town would know that there would be a reformation and Luther would be taking the lead on teaching all Christians that would listen to the truth about the Word of God and that there was nothing in Scripture that supported the idea of limbo or purgatory, that we are saved by Grace and Grace alone! The people would also learn that the indulgences they paid to buy their loved ones out of purgatory or limbo were not being used for the purpose these people were told by church leaders of that time, rather to pay for St. Peter’s cathedral and the Vatican in Rome. The results of the efforts of Martin Luther were far reaching and things would never be the same. And it all started on All Hallowed Eve, Halloween, where it is believed, at the time, the spirits of the dead would rise from their graves, hence, the ghosts and goblins of the Halloween trick or treat party evolved.
The day of celebration of the Saints is always November 1st. You might be saying, who cares? I mean, what difference does it make - the Saints are dead anyway, they don’t care. Well, Luther cared. BIG TIME! Enough to take one of the busiest church days of the year to launch his 95 Theses. Luther didn’t do this because he thought it was a good idea, he did it on that day because he knew how hallowed the day was to Christians and that hundreds would enter that door that day, and the next day, to worship and they would see those 95 theses. The truth would spread quickly as a result – a brilliant move by Luther and the key to All Saints Day and the Reformation being synonymous with liberty of the dead and the living respectively. So that’s the background on All Saint’s Day. Yesterday was the day we observe the Saints and at the same time stand face to face with the Gospel which is now and always will be the hope we have for when we are taken home to eternity and become part of the communion of Saints.
As we reflect on what transpired this past week, I pray we all can embrace the significance of the changes that took place because of Martin Luther’s efforts to reform the church. It happened then, and it needs to happen again as the church, the entire Christian church, needs to reform and get back to worshiping our Lord and Savior. May it be so in His Holy name.
Please join us for worship this and every Sunday at New Hope Church at 22200 Foresthill Rd., Foresthill. CA. 530-367-3650. Service begins at 9:30am with a time of food and fellowship immediately following worship. All are welcome so please come as you are ….