Dear Congregation and Friends
In the month of October each year we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation. It feels as if it was only last year that we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (it was in 2017 – that’s already four years ago). Do you remember the many ways in which we were reminded of the movement, the tumultuous events that changed the way the church understood its being and purpose? Time flies – and yet the core message of the Reformation is one that we need to hear again and again. I need to hear, I need to receive the gift, the affirmation, that I am a beloved child of God on account of the Life and Death of Jesus of Nazareth on the cross of Golgotha and not because I have somehow managed to get my own life together in a God-pleasing way. Why this need? Because our world continuously drives us into believing the exact opposite – in fact the world operates on the basis of a strict and merci-less merit system, i.e. “there’s no so thing as a free lunch!”. “You have to earn your keep!”
Let us allow the month of Reformation to remind us of the Good News, that God’s grace is given to us freely, unconditionally, and that there is nothing that can ever separate us from God’s love. Let us use this month to imagine what our lives and this world could look like if we really took this message seriously. How would we treat each other? How would I relate to myself? What would I see, when I look at myself in the mirror? The person that has made a mess of my life? The person that just doesn’t seem to get things right? The person that is weak and unstable when it comes to being good? Or can I see the child, wobbly kneed and struggling to keep going, but loved and cherished by God in an unbelievably gracious way? Yes! You’re called and empowered to see that child – the beloved of God! Because in Christ you are that child!
May this month of the Reformation be for you a journey of rediscovering who you are in God’s eyes as God looks at you as the brother or sister of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
And the peace of this grace be with you all. Amen