Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I am part of a movement called “the Lutheran Church.” We Lutherans are “back to the Bible” people. The most important message in that holy book is about Jesus – what he brought to the world in his life, death, and resurrection. This message is one of forgiveness offered to all through the cross where Jesus bled and died.
Ask any Lutheran who they are, and they just might say, “I’m a sinner saved by grace.”
Lutherans are Christians who celebrate Christmas and Easter and worship on Sundays like most Roman Catholics and Protestants. We were also the first Protestants, thanks to our namesake, Martin Luther. Many people think of Martin Luther King, Jr. when they hear that name, but this Martin Luther lived 500 years ago in Germany.
This Martin Luther was a monk who believed that the Christian church needed to do a better job sharing God’s mercy and truth. He stood up to the powers that be and risked his career, his reputation, and even his life to make the love of Jesus known. His efforts began the Reformation, a great call for change within the Christian church.
Many Lutherans spend October preparing to celebrate the anniversary of the start of the Reformation. On the last Sunday of October, “Reformation Sunday,” we remember the day (October 31, 1517) when Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 concerns to the door of his local church, a list which immediately “went viral.” Some Lutherans also remember the Reformation by filling up on some good German food.
Today the Lutheran Church is worldwide. Though fewer than 4 million Lutherans are in North America, over 24 million now live in Africa. Wherever they may be, Lutherans will keep finding inspiration by looking back to the Bible, to Jesus, and to Martin Luther’s courageous faith.
Pastor Scott Lindner
Atonement Lutheran Church
Wesley Chapel, Florida