Is the Reformation dead? What happened to my loved one or friend who passed away?
November 4, 2016, 1:33 PM

November 4, 2016

On the last Sunday of October 2015, I was in church
and after the Service commented to my pastor,
“It’s Reformation Sunday, and we didn’t sing
Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is our God,” to which
he responded, “The Reformation is dead!”

I thought to myself, “In some ways, he’s right.
As a historical period in time, the Reformation
is past – in a sense, it’s dead.”

But the spirit of wanting to change things
for the better, to express ideas more clearly,
to have the right to voice your beliefs embodies
the spirit of the Reformation.  In this sense,
the Reformation is very much alive.

Martin Luther, the German reformer, rediscovered
that faith as the crucial element in life function is
essential to one’s relationship with God. He affirmed
what the Apostle Paul had written, “The just shall live
by faith” (Romans 1:17).  Somehow the Church of Luther’s
day had forgotten this great truth.

November 1st was All Saints’ Day, which First Congregational
United Church of Christ will celebrate this Sunday, November 6th.
It’s another great festival of the Church that seeks to answer
the question, “What happened to my loved one or friend when
she/he passed away?”  All Saints’ Day/Festival is a special
Church celebration where those who have died are remembered
In faith and confidence that they are within God’s Eternal love and
care.  While we cannot prove that those who have died are with
God, we choose to receive our own life in the faith that God is
faithful to God’s creation.  The Bible, you see, is strangely silent
about survival after death.  It simply affirms that nothing can
separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35).  When we
receive that truth by faith, we do not control our destiny or
the destiny of one we have loved and still love, we simply
journey with Christ.

And so with Paul and Luther, we affirm that “the just shall
live by faith,” and we continue our journey with Christ.

Blessings on the Journey,

Pastor Greg Rupright
First Congregational United Church of Christ


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