“This is a Sunday packed with beautiful images, deep-seeded ideas, and a rich history. For life-long Lutherans, these things can provoke a sense of pride in our denomination, but Reformation Sunday is not ‘Lutheran Pride Day.’ Instead, it is a day focused on knowing God truthfully and, in the process, understanding who we are as people of faith and children of God in light of God’s unbelievable grace.

Luther spent a great deal of time trying to know who God was and to find ways of expressing what he came to know and believe so that others would know God, too. He used coarse language, drank beer, and wrote hymns using tunes people knew and recognized. When he wrote his catechism he used language his small son could understand. He even translated the Bible into the language people spoke. The truth about God and our faith, as complex as it is, should be something we can grasp and wrestle with.

Reformation Sunday is certainly a festival day where we celebrate and remember our history, but it should also be a day to reexamine our faith. Part of that is recognizing the truth about our inadequacies, our failings, and our sinfulness. The law is like a mirror in a room with intense fluorescent lights; it shows us who we are with every flaw and wrinkle. But God doesn’t look at us in that mirror. The truth about God brings us new knowledge about ourselves. God shines a new light on us, where iniquities are forgiven and sins forgotten.

The message of Reformation Sunday is God’s love for us. It is a love that frees us and redefines us as people of God and as members of the whole body of Christ. In God’s eyes, we are beautiful.” sundaysandseasons.com

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