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Reformation

Pastor Gary McCluskey
Pastor Gary N. McCluskey

Pastor's Notes
Gary N. McCluskey, pastor

If a change is easy, it is most likely not in any sense reformative. That is, if we can change something about ourselves, our lives or our church without much discomfort, it is probably simply a change, not a Reformation. 

Reformation at its heart is not about simply changing a belief or some manner of doing things. Reformation is about changing the very people who change their beliefs or ways. It is about changing us. 

Behavior and Belief are important. They are important because they often mold and shape us. Right there is the power of reformation. If we begin to see things differently; if we begin to behave in different patterns we begin to change. The very being of who we are may begin to change. This is why reformation is so difficult. We most fear a change in ourselves. We may be unhappy with the way we are. We may recognize a need for some internal change. Yet we know how to operate as the person we are. A reforming change threatens current understandings. A reforming change threatens predictability and control. 

October 30 is Reformation Sunday for Lutherans. As Lutherans we do not celebrate the Reformation. No one ought to celebrate division in the church. Instead we recognize it and observe it. It is a reminder that God's Holy Spirit is not static. It is dynamic; at work, moving, and as such, changing the church and those in it.

Too often we Lutherans look at the Reformation as though the church was once broken and now it has been fixed. That would be to miss much of the point of Martin Luther, the reformers, and the Reformation itself. One of the Reformation cries was, "Ecclesia reformanda est!" That is, the church must always be reformed. Reformation is both the state of the church and of the Christian.  

If we think more deeply about this it is scary stuff! That is when we remember it is God's Holy Spirit at work in the church and in us. We will be okay! God's reforming Spirit has purpose. It is not simply to change, it is to change for the better. 

So, are you struggling with something? Do you feel like you are in a wrestling match with some change? God just may be at work in your life.

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