Sunday, April 22, 2007

Reformation - a Personal Connection

"The Reformation" began with Martin Luther seeing changes needed in the church of his time (1517). This was not achieved easily. I have the DVD movie, "Luther" (newer version) and there is a scene in it that has stuck with me. After Luther had his revelation that "the just will live by Faith" (Romans 1:17) and "we are saved by grace, not works" (Ephesians 2:5-6), he made a public declaration of his findings (nailing them to the door). He also wrote the Hymn: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

Martin made a stand on his beliefs and would not back down. It caused uproar and conflict in the church. This "revolution" caused a revolt and much bloodshed, many dying for their new found revelation. Luther was shocked and discouraged - Why can't they just accept it? Here's the line: "Did you think it would be accomplished without a cost?"

It did cost them, and dearly, but how could they go back? He stood before the Emperor of the German provinces and said, "Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture... I cannot and will not retract... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God, Amen." The Protestant Reformation was birthed and it spread throughout the provinces and across Europe. Over the years, the princes or rulers of the provinces either embraced it, or tried to crush it.

During a period of persecution, some of these protestants were offered an opportunity to relocate in the New World under British rule. They were guarenteed freedom to worship and a new beginning. They grabbed it. From 1749-1752, a total of 1,615 "Foreign Protestants" from Gemany, Montbeliard (a french province) and Swizerland traveled by ship to Halifax, NS. In 1753, they founded their own community: Lunenburg, NS. These were some of my ancestors - descendants of the original Reformation. This is a valued part of my Christian heritage.

Life was not easy, but freedom was worth the cost. Can you say the same? What would you "give up" in order to have freedom to worship God? He may not ask you to move physically, but is He asking you to "re-move" something that has hindered you from worshipping Him as you could? Today is the beginning of another 21 Day Reformation: "An Army of Women on a Reformation." In these next 21 days, let GOD reform an area of your life. It will not be without cost, but it will be worth it!

Selah Y


redeemed diva said...

Great start. I love the comments on Martin Luther. In Cheryl M's dialogue I said that I didn't like the idea of being like a monk..but I will state it here, I was wrong. Thanks for the insights.

Anonymous said...

What a great post Cheryl!! Thank you for the incredible wisdom and insight.

I do feel that we are choosing to be a part of history. It seems so small, yet in my spirit I know it is huge. I cannot get away from Him leading in this Reformation. Thank you for reminding me that we are history makers.

Bless you.

Shari said...
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Shari said...

I had no idea you were also into church history.....You are a very sharp lady. Kevin and I both passionate about history. So many lessons to be learned from the past and hopefully not repeating the same mistakes.

Luther is an interesting man to study!!