Reformation Sunday 2022

Posted on November 10, 2022

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Reformation Sunday 2022

Today is Reformation Sunday.

On this day we remember the good work that was done, 500 years ago, by Martin Luther and the other early church reformers like Philip Melanchthon and John Hus.

These church reformers taught us to always be about the work of reforming and renewing the church.

There is never a point where we can say – I think that the church is perfect.

As much as I would like to say this

– there is never I point where I can say – I think Williams Bay Lutheran Church is perfect.

We will never reach that point.

We will never be able to say that we will not need to change or make any improvements to our church because everything is already right.

Reforming / renewal is an on-going process in the church.

Somethings do stay the same in the church but other things change and through it all we look to God for guidance and direction.

We do not cast the vision – it is God who casts the vision – who gives us the mission.

We do not move the church forward it is God who moves the church forward and then we move into God’s future with trusting hearts.

It is easy to get caught in the temptation that we are the ones who direct and guide the church but that is wrong.

It is God who directs and guides the church.

For Luther he believed that the church was greatly misguided because the church was moving in a direction that was not led by God and by God’s Holy Spirit.

The church was corrupt.

Through Luther’s work, along with other early reformers, the church changed and became more faithful to the Gospel.

There was resurrection and new life in the church.

Even today we strive to seek God’s will and not our own.

How do we do this?

How do we hear God’s voice in the church?

In my personal devotional time, I am reading through the book of Proverbs.

The book of Proverbs is a book that gives advice and guidance on a wide range of issues.

In Proverbs chapter twenty verse eighteen we hear that we are to form our purpose by asking for counsel and advice.  Then and only then can we carry out the plan.

One of the things that I have really appreciated over the years as a pastor is being on church counsel.

I am grateful that I don’t have to cast the vision for the church on my own.

I listen carefully to the direction and the guidance that I receive from the leaders of our congregation as they carefully seek God’s will.

And then I lean on them for help in order to carry out the mission of our church.

Over the years some seasons in the church have gone very smoothly with very little concern but some seasons have been much more challenging and difficult but through it all we listen to the voice of God.

We trust in God’s future and God’s ability to draw us forward into God’s mission.

We catch ourselves when we are tempted to be visionary dreamers – this means times when we put our plans ahead of God’s plan.

These are times when we try to push our will forward instead of taking the time to carefully discern God’s will.

And the only way we can discern God’s plan is through prayer and listening.

There is no other way.

Prayer and listening.

We pray to God and then we listen.

During the first two years of the pandemic this was my constant work.

Prayer and listening.

Prayer and listening.

Praying to God.

Listening.

Listening to the church counsel.

Listening to others in the church.

Listening to the Spirit at work in our church.

Listening, listening to the voice of God.

In Proverbs chapter three verse five we hear that we are to listen for God’s voice in everything that we do, everywhere we go; for God is the one who keep us on track.

And Jesus said in today’s Gospel reading that if we continue in his word – meaning that we continue listening to him and seeking his will, then we are truly his disciples.

We will know the truth – we will know the way and his truth will set us free.

We will be free to live a grace-filled and life-giving life.

As the church continues listening to God’s voice the church will continue to reform and be shaped and pruned by God’s Spirit.

God will continue using the church for God’s purposes.

God has not given up on the church.

Even now I see God at work in our church.

Yes, here in this place.

As we gather together each week for worship

– God is at work.

In seeing the children and youth in church

– I see God at work.

In Stu’s stewardship talks where he speaks about the work and activity of this church

– I see God at work.

In the work that our church council does each month working together to help our church discern God’s ways

– I see God at work.

In the hymns that we sing that speak to our faith in a gracious and loving God

– I see God at work.

In the laughter and the joy that we share together over coffee and pie – I see God at work.

As God’s people in this place and time

– may the Lord bless our church and may we have the faith to continue moving forward into God’s future as God makes a new covenant with us.

A covenant where God writes on our hearts that we are God’s people and God is our God.

We ask for all this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Join Us for Sunday Worship

  • 8:00 a.m. In-Person Morning Prayer with Holy Communion
  • 9:30 a.m. In-Person & Virtual Worship with Holy Communion
  • 9:45 a.m. Sunday School
  • 11:00 a.m. Bible Study

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