Written by Rev. Rebecca Reeder, Associate Pastor, Sewickley Presbyterian Church
"You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."
Yes, Sunday is Halloween. But did you know it’s ALSO Reformation Day? Reformation Day is when we commemorate Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses on the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517. It is the event most commonly associated with the start of the Protestant Reformation. In addition to pushing back against the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on indulgences at the time, Luther is also known for translating and publishing the Bible in the common speaking language of the day such that ordinary people could read it for themselves. In his own studies of Scripture, Luther became known especially for his emphasis on salvation by grace alone through faith and not by works. For a fun take on the major events of Martin Luther’s life, check out the video above on Martin Luther According to Kids. And below is a prayer by Luther that he would use in his morning prayer time:
“I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.”