Last year, when we picked out the new tree to replace the old party tree, we settled on a red maple tree. In a decade or two, after it grows into a healthy adult tree, its leaves will turn bright red in autumn, and they will cover our garden ground in red as we come to October’s end. Red is the color we use to celebrate the Reformation, the beginning of which we mark by remembering the nailing of the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Church door on All Hallow’s Eve.
We will commemorate the Reformation again this Sunday. It is not a time for Luther idolatry, but for thanking God for God’s faithfulness to sinners like us. After all, that was the message of the Reformation—it was a rebellion, or an attempt at breaking the church, but to remember God’s grace and God’s love for the world. This was Luther’s core message, that none of us is righteous, but God is faithful. We know, of course, that Luther had many flaws, including vicious anti-Semitism and some pretty wacky ideas about birds (God resurrects them each spring!). But the thing about God’s grace is that it reaches even the worst of us to heal us and make us whole.
I think that’s something to celebrate.
Also, tonight, we continue with our Peace and Reconciliation Prayer Services at 7:30. Hope to see you there!