There are days when I wonder where the church is headed and if I’ll be able to keep up.
We are not the first generation in the history of the church to look with both trepidation and anticipation at the technological changes that alter the landscape of our faith. Martin Luther was probably the first church leader to use social media in his ministry and finding that his message had “gone viral” or circulated quickly from person to person.
We usually date the beginning of the Reformation to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses at the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Luther, a relatively obscure pastor and teacher in a small town, was angered by the selling of indulgences to fund the construction of St. Peters Basilica in Rome.
His theses were an invitation to debate these activities, among other perceived abuses of God’s grace.
While we date the beginning of the Reformation to Luther’s posting on October 31, 1517, we might more accurately say that the Reformation went viral in December of 1517 when Luther and supporters took advantage of the latest social medium of their time–Guttenberg’s printing press.
Today we observe Reformation Day. Readings for today are Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 46; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36. This message was adapted from “Reformation Reboot” written by Twila Schock and published in the October 2014 issue of Gather magazine.
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