Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012

A Day To Remember

The year was 1483. England was in an uproar due to the disappearance of their young princes Richard and Edward, the elder of whom was the heir to the throne. Spain’s Jewish population was ousted from a land that had long sported a Jewish population, and the Inquisition was in its infancy. Michelangelo stepped back and looked upon the holy beauty of the Sistine Chapel that he had helped to create. Yet none of these grand events touched the simple bedchamber of a woman named Margarethe, who was struggling to deliver another strapping German child. The greater world had no knowledge of her birth-pangs, nor did she know or care of what was happening around her. All she knew was the new baby who came at the just the time God had planned.

His name would be Martin.

Martin Luther would be the first to say that his birth was nothing special. He was a modest man, despite his proud polemics, and he would probably not be amused that his birthday might be celebrated centuries later. Yet the birth of Martin Luther is an important event not only because he was born but because of what his life would set into place. Few had dared to stand up against the moral bankruptcy that dominated Church society in this era. Intimidated by Inquisitorial agents and threats of a burning stake, men were, for the most part, forced to make due with practices they often did not feel comfortable with and a hierarchy they did not trust.

Luther was charismatic. He said “no.” He stood up against indulgences and corruption. He said, “Your day is over. This can’t go on any longer.” And while he himself was not powerful enough to set everything in motion, he suddenly discovered that there were many likeminded men who had been waiting in the wings for a strong-minded reformer. Of course, corruption was not all he opposed. It became clear to Martin Luther that there were certain elements of Scripture that had been ignored, and that tradition had taken the place of the pureness of the Word. He wanted his countrymen to gain more knowledge of living purely and Scripturally without outside influences. This was a concept with which medieval man was sadly unfamiliar.

Today is the 529th anniversary of Martin Luther’s birth. On that momentous day, a man was born who would change the Christian world, who would tout the importance of memorizing Scripture and reading the Bible for oneself, who would usher in a community of quiet, unshakable steadfast Protestant believers who even suffered martyrdom yet refused to deny the truths of the Bible and the love of their God. He was without doubt one of the most influential men to emerge from European --- and world --- history. Yet on that day in 1483 his parents understood only two things: A new branch had been grafted onto their family tree, and God was good.

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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