Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reformation - A Personal Connection

"The Reformation" began with Martin Luther seeing changes needed in the church of his time (1517). This was not achieved easily. I have the DVD movie, "Luther" (2003 version) and there is a scene in it that has stuck with me. After Luther had his revelation that "the just will live by Faith" (Romans 1:17) and "we are saved by grace, not works" (Ephesians 2:5-6), he made a public declaration of his findings (nailing them to the door). He also wrote the Hymn: "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

Martin made a stand on his beliefs and would not back down. It caused uproar and conflict in the church. This "revolution" caused a revolt and much bloodshed, many dying for their new found revelation. Luther was shocked and discouraged - Why can't they just accept it? Here's the line: "Did you think it would be accomplished without a cost?"

It did cost them, and dearly, but how could they go back? He stood before the Emperor of the German provinces and said, "Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture... I cannot and will not retract... Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God, Amen." The Protestant Reformation was birthed and it spread throughout the provinces and across Europe. Over the years, the princes or rulers of the provinces either embraced it, or tried to crush it.

During a period of persecution, some of these protestants were offered an opportunity to relocate in the New World under British rule. They were guarenteed freedom to worship and a new beginning. They grabbed it. From 1749-1752, a total of 1,615 "Foreign Protestants" from Gemany, Montbeliard (a french province) and Swizerland traveled by ship to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1753, they founded their own community in Lunenburg. These were some of my ancestors - descendants of the original Reformation. This is a valued part of my Christian heritage.

Life was not easy, but freedom was worth the cost. Can you say the same? What would you "give up" in order to have freedom to worship God? He may not ask you to move physically, but is He asking you to "re-move" something that has hindered you from worshipping Him as you could? In the next few days, let GOD reform an area of your life. It will not be without cost, but it will be worth it!


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