“The rediscovery of the gospel’s liberating message, which Luther discovered through his profound study of the Holy Scriptures, was at the centre of the Reformation. This powerful and liberating message needs to be heard anew at different times and in different contexts,” writes Anne Burghardt in her introduction to Liberated by God’s Grace.
Such rediscovery is a core reason to become engaged in the commemoration of the Reformation, which will reach its climax in October 2017. Our feature article offers a wide variety of opportunities to hear the message anew in our own time and context and encourages us to be creative in our hearing.
Perhaps you’ve been participating in the Reformation Challenge through refugee sponsorship, planting trees, providing scholarships or strengthening The Lutheran World Federation Endowment Fund, all worthy efforts. Have you taken time to reflect on what we are doing? Why do we do such things? What messages are we proclaiming in this time?
Those who have been exploring the themes of this three-year commemoration have been discovering the themes are more than catchy slogans. This is all counter-cutural and challenges many of the values of our society.
It helps us to explore our time and context in ways that will impact our mission and ministry for many years as we learn to live liberated by God’s grace, striving for a world where salvation, human beings and creation are not for sale.
In Q & A (p. 15) Rev. Paul Sartison discusses how From Conflict to Community can help Lutherans and Roman Catholics explore the Reformation together.
Bishop Larry Kochendorfer (p. 21) connects us to some of the excitement that is building in anticipation of the 2017 Lutheran World Federation Assembly.
The miracle of prayer (Practising Our Faith p. 9) provides an intriguing perspective on praying at worship, while Our Bishop (p. 34) provides some content for our prayers.
As we were preparing the material for this issue To Love Our Neighbours As Ourselves: a study of orders of ministry in the ELCIC was published for study and response by the members of the ELCIC. It is a “unique and timely opportunity to think about how best we might participate in God’s mission in our contemporary context.”
Call us to the edges (p. 7), a prayer in that study, expresses our engagement in Reformation.