Well, it’s that time of the year to give the token shout out to our faith ancestors for protesting the status quo and religious error. Tuesday is Reformation Day, and it is the 500th Anniversary!
As we’ve said in the past around here, the Reformation didn’t invent really anything new. It uncovered the genuine Apostolic faith authorized by our Lord Jesus. Do you remember the 5 Solas of the Reformation?
- Scripture Alone
- Christ Alone
- Grace Alone
- Faith Alone
- To the Glory of God Alone!
Our church is right to focus on these. They hold together and explain our faith well. But, the Reformation isn’t just a religious party around a bunch of smart, dead guys in robes and funky hats. The Protestant Reformation gave us some serious rubber to tread the rocky road of life. We have no future salvation without a right understanding of the Gospel. But, we also have serious difficulty without a right understanding of our vocations and that our jobs matter.
The Reformation gave us a “work ethic.” It rightly broke down the “secular-sacred divide.” “What is that?,” you may ask? It’s the notion that Sunday church is distinct from Monday-Friday work; or, more sinister, that being a “full-time” Christian “man of the cloth” is more significant than the “other kinds” of work out there (blue, white or no collars). Dorothy Sayers, the famous English writer, once countered that misleading distinction saying: “The only ‘Christian’ work is work well done.” To consider that God alone should get the glory for everything breathed new life in ALL that we do. While Sunday worship indeed is vital to being a Christian, it is a part of what we do week-to-week. The Reformation ideal of God’s glory injected meaning into what it means to be a spouse, an employee, a child, a parent— a neighbor. While the Reformation relentlessly clarified the role of works for eternal salvation, it didn’t render our “works” useless or unimportant. Martin Luther famously quipped: “God doesn’t need our good works, but our neighbor does.”
Happy Reformation Day! Now go out there, rock the rubber of a durable, God-sized work ethic to your job, and do good work this week for God’s glory! S.D.G.