OCTOBER IS A SPECIAL MONTH FOR LUTHERANS.
It was in this month that we remember the life of St. Francis, often by blessing animals on the 4th; the birth of the great missionary Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, on the 7th; Luke the Evangelist, Simon and Jude the Apostles, and more.
But for most of us, the climax of the month’s remembrances is October 31, or the Sunday before, when we remember the day in 1517 that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, and inadvertently sparked the Reformation.
Luther is a complex figure, whose name can still arouse passionate debate. But the faith community that he called “Evangelical,” and which most of the world calls “Lutheran,” rests on more than one man’s writings.
It rests – the church stands or falls — on one basic claim about the message of the Scriptures. We are not made righteous before God by our deeds, but by God’s own gift of grace, received by our faith, which is given to us for the sake of Jesus Christ.