Psalm 145

Curated by Kevin & Alyssa Borst
Phil Wickham - Doxology
Brian & Katie Torwalt - Holy Spirit
Brian & Katie Torwalt - Praise Will Be My Song
Bethel Music - Shepherd

By Bobbi Salkeld

In the story of Christianity, there have always been shifts and renewals, upsets and reforms, power that rises and power that falls.   

This year we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.  

The Reformation has its official beginning when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg in 1517. Martin Luther hoped that what was wrong and unjust about the Church could change. Some would say this call for change was a long time coming. 

Luther called for the Church to be reformed - he argued for access to scripture, to forgiveness, and to heaven without the need to earn the grace of God through good works or church structure. 

Of course, this chapter in history wasn’t that clean or simple.  It became violent, splintered, and incredibly divisive.  But that was not its ultimate conclusion.

The Reformation made popular by Martin Luther and the Printing Press led to deep and lasting change in the Christian tradition.  People could read the bible for themselves, they could decide what they believed, and they could find others who believed that way too. 

Within this historical chapter title called the “Protestant Reformation” we find two words which are familiar to us - “protest” and “reform.”  

Century after century has rolled along with these actions at the heart of sacred transformation and movements of renewal.  
It’s a human practice of love to look around, to notice places of injustice in the world or in the church, and to take compassionate steps of protest and reform.  

The scriptures remind us story after story that these disparate shapes of belief and experience can work together to bring about nonviolent transformation in the world.  
Because to a violent and threatened people Jesus said, “You can have my life.  We’re just getting started.” 

We still need movements of reform to clear out the divisions between us, to distribute wealth and power in equitable and just ways, to reorient our hearts and relationships to postures of gentleness, curiosity, and abundance.  
So, we thank Martin Luther, for the messy reboot he gave us 500 years ago. 
And we turn our hearts to Jesus, who shows us the way of peace. 

And together - with all of our differences - we remember the prayer of Jesus - that we would be one, as he and the Divine are one.  And we pray as Martin Luther prayed:
O God, graciously comfort and tend all who are imprisoned, hungry, thirsty, naked, and miserable; also all widows, orphans, sick, and sorrowing.  In brief, give us our daily bread, so that Christ may abide in us and we in him for ever, and that with (Jesus) we may worthily bear the name of ‘Christian.’