Devotion and Prayer for Week of October 27, 2013

Meditation for the week of October 27, 2013

 

“Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.   Psalm 46:10-11

 

“A Mighty Fortress is our God, A trusty shield and weapon.”

 

These words begin Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” a hymn based on Psalm 46.  It’s sung in churches throughout the world on (or around) October 31, the day in 1517 that Luther nailed 95 Theses of theological debate to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany.  With the posting of those Theses, the Reformation had begun.

In sermons preached from pulpits throughout the world, the name of Martin Luther will be spoken.  And yet, the Reformation is not about Martin Luther.  It is about Jesus Christ.

Martin Luther’s life’s work was to get the church to remember Jesus!  Jesus!  Jesus!  Forget all the distracting secondary stuff!  Purge yourself of everything that gets between you and Jesus!  Jesus’ love for you is the main thing!  Jesus’ forgiveness of your sins is the main thing!  Jesus’ death on the cross and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday is the main thing!  Jesus’ Easter Sunday victory over the death and the devil is the main thing!  Jesus’ gift of eternal life to you is the main thing!  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, who lovingly forgives you, defends you, and brings you to himself eternally.

Faith in Jesus is so simple, very young children understand it.  Faith in Jesus is so profound; the world’s geniuses have spent lifetimes pondering it.  And yet since faith in Jesus is taught so early and consistently throughout a Christian’s lifetime, people often have a desire to get away from it.

Some consider it too elementary.  They let their faith wander away from Christ as they place the emphasis on other things—how to do the right works, how to feel the right emotions, how to emulate and revere our forefathers in the faith.  From there, it’s not a far jump to consider how one ought to earn God’s love or how one ought to achieve a state of holiness.  And you’ve moved so far away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is unrecognizable.

The Christian faith is not about earning a place in heaven; Jesus has already done that.  Christianity is not about achieving holiness; Jesus already gives you his holiness.  Christianity teaches good works and joyfulness, but these things don’t give you salvation.  Jesus already gives you salvation; good works and joy are by-products of the faith you already have within you.

Christianity is not about you; it’s about Jesus for you.  The Reformation is not about Martin Luther, or any pope or any saint, or any catchy hymn.  It’s about Jesus.  It’s always about Jesus.  Jesus is living; Jesus is forgiving; Jesus is the one in whom everything finds its center—and he is the center of your faith.

Our Weekly Prayer

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life.  Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.  Amen.