Reformation Day – 31 October 1517

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What does Reformation Day celebrate?

On 31 October, Reformation Day is celebrated in commemoration of the onset of the Reformation, alongside All-Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) during the triduum of Allhallowtide.

World history was forever changed by a single event that took place on one day. This happened on October 31, 1517. Monk and scholar Brother Martin had struggled for years with his church, the church in Rome. An indulgence sale that was unprecedented deeply disturbed him. 

A Catholic church conference was being held in Rome when Luther was 27 years old. The immorality and corruption among Catholic priests left him more disillusioned and discouraged.

In an effort to cope with his spiritual turmoil, he enrolled at the University of Wittenberg upon his return to Germany. Theology was his chosen vocation, and he became a professor at the university (now known as Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg).

Luther gained religious insight through his studies of scripture. Beginning in 1513, Luther, while preparing lectures, read the first line of Psalm 22, in which Christ cries out for mercy, a cry that suggests Luther’s own disillusionment with God and religion. 

He pondered the statement for some time, as he prepared a lecture on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

Eventually, he came to realize that the only way to salvation was through faith, not to fear God or to become enslaved by religious works. As a result of this period, the Reformation was set in motion.

So what does reformation mean?: To make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it. “the Bill will reform the tax system”

Another word for reform is to correct. You see, Martin discovered that the Catholic church was withholding the truth from people in order to take advantage of them. In those days, people did not have access to Hebrew or Greek and Latin scripture, only the pope and monks did. 

So when Matin became a monk, he discovered the truth. We do not earn our salvation through works but through faith alone, grace alone, in Christ alone. 

This left Martin convicted and called to a specific purpose, He made it His mission to make the Bible available to all Christians, He translated it from Latin which was the language of the scholars and clergy into German vernacular. 

If it was not for His boldness, many of us would not have the access we currently have. Martin was threatened by the catholic church and the rulers of that time. They did not want the local people to have that sort of access. 

This man suffered for Christianity till his very last breath. 

I believe it is so important for you, you who are reading this, to know truly what happened on this day. Martin was bold and nailed 95 Thesis on the Church door. Boldly taking on the catholic leadership so that the truth would come out. 

Here are a few quotes of his: 

“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”

Martin Luther

God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.Martin Luther

So instead of celebrating Halloween, it is time that we truly worship God, for what He has done through His chosen people. 

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