October 31, 2013 – The iPhone forecast for Indianapolis is 100% chance of rain all day except for a mid-afternoon dip to only 90%, but back to 100% for the evening Trick or Treat hours. So here in central Indiana, Trick or Treat night has been officially postponed for 24 hours, expecting more favorable conditions tomorrow night.
October 31, 1517 — I don’t know about Wittenberg weather 496 years ago, but conditions were ripe if not favorable for challenge to a corrupt church, and even worse a heretical church. Martin Luther had no tricks up his sleeve when he posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door and lit the spark for the Reformation. But what he did was certainly threatening to the established church, not used to being challenged. And it wasn’t just the Selling of Indulgences, selling salvation for money. That was the main focus in Luther’s first public challenge, but issues of eternally greater importance weighed on Luther’s mind.
David Mathis of Desiring God reminds us of the primary issues that should lead us to celebrate this holiday.
Reformation Day is ripe for remembering an array of biblical truths — that the Scriptures are our only final authority (sola Scriptura); that God accepts us by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Christ alone (justification); that God often uses the unlikeliest of people to turn the world upside down; that God doesn’t just raise up great individuals, but collections of people, veritable teams, each with his lot, and his own local cohort, to bring about widespread change; and all these conspiring to the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria).
For a larger perspective, read the entire article, The Reformation: Trick or Treat?