As we approach the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses and the beginning of the Reformation, these words speak to me. The history of Luther’s trials and the opposition the reformers faced are part of Lutheran heritage. Luther was excommunicated, declared a heretic, declared an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire, all of which could lead to being burned at the stake. Yet, because he had courage in God, he proclaimed the gospel.
Today we often find it difficult to declare the gospel. We fear rejection, we fear being laughed at, or fear that it will affect our status at work, in school, in our neighbourhoods. But the gospel proclaims forgiveness and the freedom of God’s love. We no longer have government opposition; the opposition is often from within ourselves.
The courage will come as we submerse ourselves in God’s gift of baptism and in the gospel. When we trust God to give us the words or the actions which proclaim the love of God to all we encounter, the doing is easy. We like control, but letting go and trusting God enables us to use the courage of God.
Dear Lord, enable us to remember our baptism and rely on you for courage to proclaim your love. Amen. — DG