Martin Luther’s name is etched in history as one who stood up to injustice and spiritual oppression in the 16th century, sparking a Reformation that changed the world. He brought us back to the message of the Bible, and that of Christ. All of us have fallen short of perfection. We’ve all lied, we’ve all been selfish, we’ve all harbored hatred, we’ve all done things that have violated our God-given conscience. We can never undo these evils or do enough good to be on God’s level of perfection. However, God’s love for us is so great that He sent His Son Jesus to earth to pay the penalty for our sins. The message of the Bible is simple- God offers forgiveness through His Son Jesus to all who ask for it. The Church in Luther’s day had neglected this message and was instead burdening the people with demands for money and obedience to the church in order to be saved.
Did you know the opposition and danger Luther faced as he fought for this message? He was an outlaw in the eyes of both the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire- who wanted him dead. He had a price on his head. Not only that, but even the relationships among his friends were fractured as they fought for influence in the budding Protestant movement. Luther had incredibly poor health- which was eventually his downfall- as he had ruined it during ascetic life as a monk. The Black Death was ravaging Europe, wiping out entire cities and killing several of his close friends. There was even a marauding Turkish Army laying waste to the land and its inhabitants that got as close as Vienna, Austria. Yet Luther was resilient in the face of these trials.
Would you like to know how? That’d be pretty handy in these turbulent times. We have a plague of our own, and the unrest and division in our land. I have a hard time watching or reading the news- there is just so much hatred. We could all use encouragement and peace in these times.
Fortunately for us, Luther left us his strategy in the form of his magnificent hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. This is an adaptation from Psalm 46- one written by the psalmist in response to national, natural, and supernatural calamities in his time. We find three keys here in God’s Word that you and I can apply today. Three keys that will bring us peace and stability so that no matter what the future brings, we will be ready.
Please join us online or in person at Christ Community Church this Sunday morning at 10:15am. We’d love to have you with us as reach this monumental conclusion to our series on the Psalms!
God bless you- stay safe, and have a great weekend.
-Pastor Nathan Rice