Martin Luther: Pastor and Reformer (18 February 1546)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)
This Isaiah verse has been a favorite of mine for some time. It really speaks to how different God is from us. I think the crafters of our lectionary apply it here to represent Martin Luther’s agitation with the Church of Rome during his time and to which he loved, but was at odds with.
From A Great Cloud of Witnesses of the Episcopal Church:
“As a result of his [Martin Luther’s] theological and biblical studies, he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion.”
I believe all of us, lay and ordained, have a responsibility to voice our feelings regarding the direction of our church. But like Martin Luther, we should be totally dedicated to our church because only with true devotion will our concerns be taken seriously. Martin Luther did not start the Lutheran Church, but his admirers did. I still remember when I was fresh out of seminary and thought I knew everything, I put forth the question to a Christian Ed. class I was conducting, “What does being an Episcopalian mean to you?” One of the ladies sitting in this session replied, “It means I can ask a question, and question the answer.” From that point on I knew I had a lot to learn. Thank you Debbie.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.
The forth point of the second star is Prayer.
The most important thing we must remember about prayer is that all prayer is always in response to God who prayed first. In fact, God prayed us into being. As we open the Bible we hear God praying the “Let there be’s.” This prayer concludes with us being prayed into being. “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1: 26, 27) While this translation is still male biased, it shows that our very being comes as a result of God’s prayer. It adds new meaning to being people of prayer.
Prayer is so much more than verbal, out loud, words. Prayer is being still and creating a space for Go to enter. Prayer is the desire for God in your life. Prayer requires patience which is the next and last point of my second star.
“Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” (From the 3rd verse of Praise to the Lord)