Today's devotion will be a bit more like a travelogue, but I wanted to share some highlights of our trip. Last Wednesday we arrived in Prague for several days learning about John Huss, the martyred Reformer who lived a century before Luther. Then we spent two nights in Leipzig, Germany where Bach spent the majority of his career and more recently, the St. Nicholas Church held "peace and freedom" gatherings on Monday evenings in the fall of 1989, as a soft protest of the communist government. Their actions led to the fall of the Berlin wall. We also spent a day in Wittenberg, where the Reformation, under Luther, began when he nailed his 95 Theses, stating his protests against practices in the Catholic Church on October 31, 1517. We also visited the mother of Lutheran churches and the home where Luther and his family lived.
From there we went to Weimar the former seat of the Weimar Republic and home of the Nazi party. Just a few miles out of town is the Buchenwald Concentration Camp which we visited. We also went to Erfurt where Luther entered the monastery while a student at the university. As well, we saw Eisleben where Luther was born and died, and Wartburg Castle where Luther had to hide for ten months. On the last day, I went to Worms, Germany while the group went to Mainz, both significant sites in the Reformation. The Diet of Worms is where Luther was declared a heretic in 1521, and Mainz is the home of the Gutenberg Press. This invention radically changed print media and allowed for news and information to be distributed quickly and widely. This technology caused the Reformation to "go viral."
There have been so many learnings and experiences from this trip that I look forward to sharing in our series which will start September 9. For now, I suppose it can be summed up in the word "reformation." God is always reforming life. In that sense I don't know that reforming The Church concerns God a whole lot, other than to say, as long as the church is to be an instrument in forming individual lives to be all God calls us to be, then certainly God cares about changing the church for this purpose. Much of history is shaped by people's responses to reform efforts, either embracing or resisting. The key is recognizing that as long as God is behind the change, and God is always changing life, then living into the spiritual life is about frequently seeking reformation. For as Paul said, "One day, we shall all be changed (reformed)!"
See you next week!