October 31 is the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On October 31,1517, the monk Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Chapel arguing against the use of the sale of indulgences.
Tuis began an unbelievably fierce struggle that lasts into our own times. We need to see today in 2020, how dark were those hours in the history of the church and how unsure the future was. We know the outcome, but it was by no means certain back then.
Martin Luther penned these words,
A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing:
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work his woe;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth is his name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,—
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure,—
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers—
No thanks to them—abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also:
The body they may kill:
God's truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
Those words of power and assurance upheld God’s people then. They uphold us today.
We wish for each other this same confidence and pray for one another and stand by each other in the midst of challenge and sacrifice.
I see Halloween decorations wherever I go. As we enjoy this time of year, let us recall and count on God as our mighty fortress. A bulwark never failing.