Catechism: Reformation Day

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Q2. What authority from God directs us how to glorify and enjoy Him?

The only authority for glorifying and enjoying Him is the Bible, which is the word of God and is made up of the Old and New Testaments.

This week in Children’s Chapel we talked about Josiah’s restoration of Scripture. We also began an introduction to Reformation Day, the day that celebrates Martin Luther’s announcement of his 95 Theses as a challenge to the Roman Catholic Church.

Reformation Day can feel like the Reformed Protestant version of Hannukah, a sorry alternative to the more culturally hegemonic celebrations, but I think it can be instructive to remind our kids of the historicity of our holidays — and why certain events are impactful even to this day.

This web page gives a useful rundown of how All Hallow’s Eve is connected to the protests of the Reformation:

http://www.christianity.com/christian-life/art-and-culture/the-connection-between-halloween-reformation-day.html

Reformation Day, at its core, is really about honoring the Word of God as the ultimate authority and guide to our lives. Human authority and interpretation is fallible, our own brains with its memories and experiences falter, fool, and fail us, social constructions and institutions are subject to evolution and revolution, and even creation calls beyond our ken and in a state of entropy past the Fall.

The Bible, with all of its translation and dispute over the ages, remains our best font of insight, and I would argue that the very shadows of its imprimatur invite us to not merely venerate it, but engage with it as Luther, Calvin, Wesley did, as Augustine, Aquinas, Spurgeon, and Moody did, as believers in the pulpits and the pews, in gulags and on thrones, in bars, brawls, and the breaking of bread did. We are part of a long church history in wrestling with the Word, wondering how to glorify and enjoy the Divine at our pricks of time and place.

We should celebrate that — that is also a part of reading the Word. When we announce its words to each other, we are like Josiah, dusting it off from the inattention and forgetfulness of sin — and reconnecting to our covenants, traditions, and identity, both as a person and as a people. It re-forms us.

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