by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
On the eve of November 1, All Saints' Day, in the year 1517, Martin Luther posted the now famous “95 Theses” on the Wittenberg church door.
In those days the church building was central in the community and the church door functioned as the community bulletin board.
Knowing that many people would read his posting the next day when they came to church for the special service to celebrate and commemorate the faith of all the saints through the years, Luther spoke out against the abuses occurring in the Roman church.
He argued strongly that:
- People were saved by grace, not works;
- That worship was to be carried on in the vernacular of the people, (this was later to have great influence on the King James translation of the Bible);
- Hymns were sung by the congregation in their own language;
- That all believers were “priests,” commonly known as “the priesthood of all believers.”
It is important to note that he did not advocate rewriting the worship service, but he did call for these significant changes which affect our worship to this day.
Of his many hymns, the most famous and battle cry of the Reformation is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” Contrary to popular folk tales, Luther was very careful about not using drinking or secular tunes with the hundreds of hymns he wrote. That is a popular untrue myth.
This Sunday is Reformation Sunday.