Reformation Sunday


#1

Dear Friends in Christ,
Tomorrow, millions of Lutherans worldwide will commemorate the start of the Reformation. This marks the 495th year, and while some may term it a "celebration", I have come to think of it more a day of prayer for unity of Christ's Church.
Today we face a growing tide of attack on His Church. In many countries, Christians are under attack for their faith. Churches are burned, and people murdered. Even here in America, once a sanctuary of religious freedom, we are under growing attack for our faith by those who oppose His message. The time seems to be near that we can no longer allow our differences to be stronger than our convergences. We will soon be at a time when we must stand together.

As a Lutheran, I would be tempted to post Fr. Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress", and surely I will sing it tomorrow. But here, today, I offer Samuel Stone's "The Church's One Foundation". Church in the singular, because there is but one Church. And I ask that all of you join me a prayer for unity of His Church. Come, Lord Jesus.

Jon

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against both foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters
Who, by the Master’s hand
Led through the deathly waters,
Repose in Eden land.

O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
Where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains
Forever shall abide!


#2

You’ve got it, Jon. *Et Unum Sint *


#3

Thankyou for the prayers Jon.

I will join in your prayer for Christian unity today.

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to Ein Feste Burg - so now’s a good time. :smiley:

~ Edmundus


#4

[quote="JonNC, post:1, topic:303289"]
Dear Friends in Christ,
Tomorrow, millions of Lutherans worldwide will commemorate the start of the Reformation. This marks the 495th year, and while some may term it a "celebration", I have come to think of it more a day of prayer for unity of Christ's Church.
Today we face a growing tide of attack on His Church. In many countries, Christians are under attack for their faith. Churches are burned, and people murdered. Even here in America, once a sanctuary of religious freedom, we are under growing attack for our faith by those who oppose His message. The time seems to be near that we can no longer allow our differences to be stronger than our convergences. We will soon be at a time when we must stand together.

As a Lutheran, I would be tempted to post Fr. Martin Luther's "A Mighty Fortress", and surely I will sing it tomorrow. But here, today, I offer Samuel Stone's "The Church's One Foundation". Church in the singular, because there is but one Church. And I ask that all of you join me a prayer for unity of His Church. Come, Lord Jesus.

Jon

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

The Church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish,
Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against both foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won,
With all her sons and daughters
Who, by the Master’s hand
Led through the deathly waters,
Repose in Eden land.

O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with Thee:
There, past the border mountains,
Where in sweet vales the Bride
With Thee by living fountains
Forever shall abide!

[/quote]

Jon... Thank you for posting that.

I would like to think that the gulf between Catholicism and many Protestants is growing smaller, and like you, I do not see how anyone could 'celebrate' our differences. We fight among ourselves (sometimes quite bitterly) while those who willingly turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to Christ grow ever bolder.

Even here in the United States, we need Christ more than ever. Why more people don't turn to Him I will never know.

I have long admired many of your posts, but have never said so until today. Have a blessed Sunday, and a blessed All Saints Day on Wed., as well.

~Rob.


#5

Jon, I, like you, truly hope and pray for Church unity, and will join you in that prayer. I know that this Sunday is a very big event for Lutherans.

However, I cannot in good conscience celebrate an event in which the Church of Christ was so sinfully divided, much against the express wishes of our Lord. And this is not implying that only one side was to blame–it was not, both sides had a hand in it. I simply cannot celebrate such a serious sin in the history of the Church.

I have very good friends who are married–one is a devout Lutheran, the other a devout Catholic. They get along very well and support each other immensely. Except on Reformation Sunday. Then this intangible barrier is erected between two people who love each other very much and has been probably the only real religious source of contention between the two of them. She simply will not celebrate this with her husband, and for some reason, he doesn’t really understand why.

So I guess I hope you understand my Catholic POV on this, but as I said, I will join you in prayer for unity once again, which IS the will of our Lord.


#6

I will say a hearty "amen" to a prayer for unity. It is our Lord's will.


#7

Sounds like a good idea to me.

GKC


#8

I join in prayer for unity. :thumbsup:


#9

Have a blessed Reformed Sunday, Jon. I'll be with you in the prayer of unity.

God bless you.


#10

Today is reformation Sunday in the Lutheran faith. Catholics have learned from Protestants and vice versa.

What have learned and would like to share?


#11

The importance of reading the Bible?

Not that Catholics weren’t doing it earlier; the canard that “Catholics banned people from reading the Bible” has been debunked enough already. But I respectfully submit that the gradual increase in Biblical literacy among Catholic lay people is very much a product of the Reformation, Counter-Reformation, and their sequelae.


#12

Protestantism taught me to hate heresy with a passion.


#13

Something I learned from Catholic seminarians at my undergraduate school: history matters.


#14

[quote="ndismyhome, post:13, topic:303289"]
Something I learned from Catholic seminarians at my undergraduate school: history matters.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

The early councils matter. The creeds matter. The ECF's matter. Tradition matters, and sola scriptura does not, nor should it, diminish this fact.

Jon


#15

Hate is very nobel


#16

Thank you Jon,

All I have to add is that I pray that we become so united in Christ, that we may be united together.


#17

Hate is noble… is this sarcastic?

I am Lutheran and attending RCIA classes. I’ve studied both Catholic and Lutheran perspectives… and am struck by how close Catholicism is to Lutheranism. Lutherans believe in sacraments, unlike most other Protestant denominations who take a memorial type approach. Catholics and Lutherans have come together in the Joint Declaration of the Doctrine of Justification in 1999. We are not far apart.

As far as the split during the Reformation, this was a terrible thing. Luther originally wanted to bring much-needed reform to Catholic practices (indulgences being the most-cited example) and was excommunicated rather than being permitted to enter into dialogue with the Church. He was a sincere Christian who earnestly sought to do God’s will. With the split there’s plenty of blame to go around on both sides.

My sense is that we need to pull together AS CHRISTIANS rather than tear each other apart. And other Protestants too, not just Lutherans. Our society has too many anti-God influences for us not to pull together. We may not (yet) be under one church, but we all worship the same God and believe in the atoning power of Christ alone.Please let’s not snark at each other.


#18

I learned from Protestants that the Holy Bible is a “dangerous” collection of books. We should always read them in the light of Church teaching, rather than by our own efforts alone. On the other hand, Protestants exalt Holy Bible so much that they trust nothing but the Holy Bible, yet they are the ones who terribly misread the Holy Bible and believe in things that Holy Bible doesn’t really teach. I just couldn’t imagine anything more ironic than this!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-520dejmHk04/Tr2jRjqyWxI/AAAAAAAAA2I/cMUoX2Rimts/s1600/Sola+scriptura+alert+-+Bible+alone+error.jpg


#19

I agree, Pop. I never read the scriptures except in the light of the Lutheran confessions. :thumbsup: :wink:

Jon


#20

You are probably right there. The other reason is the Eucharist where the Bible passages are pretty much being fed to the congregation and there is little reason to really study them on their own.

While those reasons may be true, the Catholic Church experiences great renewal in the last fifty years after Vatican 2. One of that fruits is the renewed love for the Bible and how it can inspire them into an intense religious belief, practice and lives. The source of the renewal can never be anything but God Himself through the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The recent Popes considered this phenomenon to be akin to the second Pentecost and indeed Pope John 23rd specifically exhorted the Church to pray for it.


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