Thesis #1: When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent'' he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. --Martin Luther
Dear friends in Christ,
Were rapidly approaching the 500th anniversary of the day that a Roman Catholic monk in a relatively obscure Saxon town nailed 95 Theses for academic debate onto the door of a church. And the rest, as they say, is history.
That monk, Martin Luther, served as the match God struck to the dry timber of a troubled church. Those troubles included immoral clergy, monks, and nuns; terrible greed; often severe confusion of the role of the church in the world; even the selling of indulgences, which were "a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”
Today, if someone were to object to such problems, that person would label the problems “institutional” and the argument would be engaged using the language of “power.” For us everything is political.
But even though the institution was oppressive and its leadership corrupt, Luther started in a different place. The very first of his 95 Theses isn’t about what we’d call power or politics at all. It’s about faith: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”
500 years later, Luther’s still on the right track. The problems that we face personally, ecclesially, culturally, and even politically are theological at heart. They’re about the primary need for all human beings to heed Jesus’ call to repent… and to live a life of repentance.
This is still the role of the Lutheran movement today, to keep this central truth, this first of Luther’s theses, at the forefront of how we live and how we engage the world.
In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the posting of those theologically reforming words which will need to be our first thesis until Jesus returns,