We should be grateful to God for the 16th century European Reformation - a reformation started by Martin Luther when he nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Castle’s door! These theses were statements that challenged the ecclesiastical authorities and theologians to a public debate with him. Thus he brought the issues into the public so that the people would be aware of the social, moral and spiritual corruptions both in the church and society. His courageous and extraordinary action was the spark that ignited the flame of spiritual liberation that quickly fanned across Europe. This movement soon spread to England and later to the shores of America.
What could we learn from the historic Reformation? Why are we having Reformation Rally in our churches especially among those of the Reformed faith? How should we emulate the reformers of the past? I believe we should take time to reflect upon this great moment in the history of Christendom.
It is an undeniable fact that God did intervene in Luther’s time and through him brought about a mighty transformation that turned Europe upside down which is a fulfilment of Jesus promise, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18). Yes, when His Church was almost swallowed up by the Roman Catholic hegemony, Jesus wielded His power to show the world who is the Head of the Church! He stepped in and ‘clean up’ His Church from the evil and cancerous influences of the ecclesiastical hypocrisy and apostasy that outwardly bore His name. Let us, therefore, be grateful and remember the reformers’ contributions and sacrifices for the cause of Jesus Christ. Let us above all look to Jesus who was, who is and who is to come (Rev. 1:8).
As He was at work in the past, so is He still at work today. He will protect and preserve His Church to the end. At the same time, let us not be complacent in our own ‘comfort zone’. Instead we should courageously face our battles as Martin Luther faced his. Let us be watchful and guard against all sorts of “insidious and innocuous 21st century ideologies and practices which threaten the existence of the Church. Let us rise up and keep His Church pure. At the same time, let us not called ourselves “Reformed” in name only. Let us allow His word to reform, yea, transform us.
Then and only then will we hear our Savior’s commendation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant … enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt. 25:21).
Rev. Mark Tay