Witches, Hobgoblins, and Soli Deo Gloria
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith. “ Romans 1:16,17
Walking through the lobby of my 96 year old father’s skilled nursing facility I noticed the information board which listed the weather of the day, other activities, and the next holiday: of course, Halloween! You can’t avoid knowing about it; the entire culture screams it out in the stores, on TV, at the movies. Not so for Reformation Day, which occurs every year at the Halloween season. Ignorant of the fact, the vast majority of the world’s population fails to realize the Reformation has far more impacted their lives for good than Halloween ever has or will. The impact of the Reformation, particularly on the Western World, has done more good for the whole world’s civilization than can even be imagined. Yet Reformation Day is barely acknowledged by comparatively few.
Soli Deo Gloria is the overarching theme of the Reformation: “Glory to God alone! The corrupt Church of the day was giving all glory to itself and not to God when a courageous, rough-hewn German monk used a hammer, nail and words to begin a Reformation which has not become extinct to the present day and has spread to every corner of the globe. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517 (All Hallows Eve) nailed his 95 Theses speaking articulately against the heretical church practice of selling indulgences which corrupted the truthful understanding of one’s salvation and forgiveness for sins. He nailed them for all to see to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, the “Facebook of Wittenberg in that day; thus began the Reformation.
“Glory to God alone sums up the thrust of the Reformation’s “trumpet calls: by faith alone, by grace alone, by Christ alone, and by Scripture alone. What united the various prominent Reformers separated by distance, modern communication, and even language at times was their commitment to “Scripture alone: they believed in the authority and inerrancy of God’s Word and thus through their personal, careful and devoted study of it came to very similar conclusions in reviving the truths of the gospel to the church; and, oh, how that has beneficially blessed the entire society in numerous manifestations, despite the activity of the Evil One and Enemy who would prefer Halloween to Reformation Day for universal celebration.
Soli Deo Gloria acknowledges the truth which so impacts our lives when we rejoice with grateful acceptance of this amazing Doxology in Romans 12: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. When faith receives and acknowledges and grasps this glorious truth with wonder and awe, the “Why God?, “Why me, “What are you doing God? “Why don’t you do it like this? “Let me give you a few pointers?, “I’m going to do it my way!, “Get off my back!, “Who are you, anyway? all fly out the window; they all go down in the ash heap, and we fall with wonder and love at the feet of the Creator and Savior of our souls. This is the Reformation! This is boasting in God’s sovereignty and not in our wretched selves!
You and your children may be joining the society in the activities of Halloween today, but do not forget to remember and be grateful for Reformation Day and what it means for you. What do you and your children know about it? What have you taught them? It can have a far greater impact on yours and their eternal future than Halloween. Soli Deo Gloria!
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