Sunday, October 31, 2010

So Many Hate October 31st. Not Me!

We only saw a few Trick-or-Treaters at our door tonight. Cute kids! How many did you see?
I'm pretty tried right now after a long day, but Liney and I both still like meetin' new people at our door. How often do so many neighbors come around to talk.  

You probably know already that I'm not so much into October 31st otherwise ..for some reasons (i.e., dead monster faces, witches, masks etc.), but hey, for other reasons we do have grounds to celebrate.

Again, we enjoy gettin' into extended chats with those around us. Face it, October 31st can be a great night for being or giving out a clear witness of your simple faith relationship. They don't come to our door to get beat up with the Bible at all (goes without saying..), but it can be a non-condemning friendship-building time. We believers have what they need most and I want to some appropriate way.. make our visitors feel welcome and thirsty for Jesus Christ. You do too huh.

Did you know that Halloween means "All Saints Day" (originally it meant "All Hallow Even"). It's of course the evening before All Saint's Day, November 1st.  

Did you know that in Saxony, Germany on October 31st during the year of 1517.. that was when Dr. Martin Luther knocked a hole in his Latin-written 95 theses as he hung it on the main door at the Castle Church in Wittenberg? We can all celebrate that right? Yes hooray, the common folk would get the Word of God!

Monk Martin was only 33 years old at the time. He was studying Psalms, Hebrews and Romans back then. The poor people didn't yet have the Bible in their own language. He wanted to give them a great gift! You remember how only the clergy back then knew the mysterious Scriptural language. But thanks to the Holy Spirit and also to the Guttenberg Press, Martin's important Message of free grace apart from works spread far, fast, and wide. We all in the Body of Christ are called to spread the Gospel in a way that people can understand!

Since then, October 31st has come to be known as "Reformation Sunday"—the Birthday of the Protestant Reformation! How cool is that!!! We can indeed fully celebrate this day every year and also the courageous stand that this hated monk named, Martin, took for us. Reminds me of the uncompromising stance that Jesus Christ took for us.. unto death.. but now He lives again!

The wicked popes ruled on earth ahead of all the other leaders. Leaders and common folk greatly feared them. Who wanted to go to Hell? And Luther was fed up with the growing "Church" corruption that he saw firsthand in Rome. Have you seen any outside of Rome? He hated seeing God's forgiveness of sins and His free salvation sold by Rome's clergy (remember, Herr Johan Tetzel who wrongly sold indulgences "in the Name of Jesus" right there in Martin's area, die Anlaß Briefe). Never forget that God has always intended His great Salvation to be without cost for any who would repent and believe in Jesus. Rightly so did Luther feel angry inside at all the religious evil. He wasn't ticked off at the people. Because of the cross God wasn't either..still isn't mad at you or me. Martin with his inner convictions of the Spirit simply wanted to do something to help people understand and God was backin' him to the hilt!

"Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen!" ~Martin Luther

Perhaps you've read this statement of Luther from the Diet of Worms before. This was two-and-a-half-years later (April 17-18, 1521) after going public with his theses on the door. Those words were spoken at one of the famous Diets for which he would defend his conviction's before many key church and state leaders. Must of been a bit nervous. Yup, a major public hearing. Would he survive it?

"When I am angry I can pray well and preach well." ~Martin Luther

"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath." ~Eph. 4:26

Brave is an understatement I feel. He was bold in the Holy Spirit! But if Luther didn't repent and recant before these folk, he would soon be excommunicated and then they would plan to execute this AWOL wild "bore in God's vinyard." What happened? Well, Luther remained true to his firstlove. and later he burned the Papal Bull letter out in the open meant to kick him out for good. He loved Jesus, not loving his own life. Would you do that? Do you know Christ like He did? At the Wartburg Castle Martin felt motivated to press on and to translate the entire Bible for the people he loved. God helped him make it happen. Today, I feel so grateful everytime I merely pick up my Luther Bibel.

And I remember clearly when I was there in that same room where Martin worked at a small desk. Apparenty the devil appeared to him not just a little mad at him and the process. But Mr Lu-Cifer did not scare anyone there. And greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world, believer! I was just trying to imagine there what all that alone-time must have been like for Luther. How much support did he really have there? Must have been enough. He wasn't perfect, but man, I feel so So SO amped for October 31st in 1517! This is a great day every year to overcome evil with good.. with the unchanging truth of Scripture!
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