“We’re Lutheran people. Even the Catholics up here are Lutheran. And I don’t like to generalize about Lutherans, but one thing that’s true of every single last one of them without a single exception is that the low point of their year is their summer vacation.” For decades Garrison Keillor has told stories about Lutherans and brought to life the joys and struggles of imagined, but yet recognizable, Lutherans living in the little town of Lake Wobegon where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”
This year, and especially this month, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. So we may be tempted to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate one another that Luther was right and Pope Leo X was wrong. We may also be tempted to think that the Reformation was a historic event we observe and then go back to normal. But really, this is a time to look back on our tradition and how it came about, but it is also a time to see who we are today (beyond the, admittedly, funny stereotypes of Garrison Keillor), and where we go from here.
The Reformation is an ongoing process, something that needs to be rethought and applied in daily life continuously. Fred Pratt Green’s hymn describes it beautifully:
“The church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led, must claim and test its heritage and keep on rising from the dead.”
Please join us on October 15th, when we’ll celebrate a Reformation Hymn Festival. In lessons and music we’ll trace our origins through the centuries, from the 1500s into our time. On October 29th, we’ll celebrate Reformation Sunday.