Did you know that not only is October 31st Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve, but it is also Reformation Day?
Why should you care?
Do you enjoy church service in your own language? Do you enjoy singing Hymns in your own language? Do you participate in the Lord’s Supper, or Communion?
These are all traditions begun by Luther in the west, when the Catholic Church services were only in Latin (not the native language), Hymns were sung in Latin by the clergy and often the Psalms, and though the congregation shared in the body of Christ, the blood of Christ (wine) was reserved for the Priests and clergy.
When Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Church (1517), he was nailing those theses (against selling indulgences by the Catholic Church) to his EMPLOYER’s Church, the day before they were to display venerated relics (which would bring so many important people to the Church). His employer Frederick III, also known as Frederick the Wise, was Elector of Saxony from 1486 to 1525, and was in FAVOR of Pope Leo X raising money for St. Peter’s Basilica (a site now of pilgrimage and considered one of the most holy sites) by selling indulgences.
Can you imagine nailing an argument against your own employer on the door of his home the day before his board members arrived for all to see? That’s how serious it was.
Eventually, Martin Luther was called before the Emperor Charles V to account for his heresy against the Catholic church, and was given safe passage, but like one of the reformers before him, it didn’t mean he wouldn’t be burned at the stake once he arrived. He was warned not to come by other people in court, but decided that he would stand for the truth and if he died, it would be in the name of Jesus.
Luther proved to be too popular to be killed, as he had become one of the most prolific writers of his time, and one of the most followed and admired people of his time. He was spared, as the throne thought it might cause an uprising or civil war.
He was ex-communicated from the Catholic church, and though he had not planned to start a church, the Lutheran church was created in his name. Luther went on to marry an apostate nun (who ran away from the order) and they had many kids. He lived another 26 years after his encounter with the Emperor, and on a trip to his home town (his wife begged him not go as it was snowing and cold) he passed away (1546).
This is such a brief history of Martin Luther, so if it has given you interest, please read more. You can start with Martin Luther’s biography “Here I Stand: A life of Martin Luther” Right now, there is an audiobook on Audible for free!
In fact, you can take a Luther international tour! Here is an historian that schedules a trip every year to explore Luther’s life and walk in his footsteps: Luther 500 Tour | Douglas Bond author (bondbooks.net)
Martin Luther was one of the most prolific writers of his time. He wrote hymns, and even translated the bible from Latin (new testament) and Hebrew (old testament) to German so that people could read scripture for themselves.