This weekend our congregation will celebrate a festival day entitled Reformation Sunday. As a teenager, this was often my favorite worship service. There were those red paraments (which only got used, in my home congregation, on two other occasions, Pentecost and whatever Sunday was Confirmation), those strong Germany hymn tunes, and a general vibrancy in the worship leaders. In all, a welcome respite from the bleakness that is late October in the Midwestern US.
I realize that many do not share my affinity for Reformation Sunday. In fact, many in our Lutheran congregations may not even understand what it is that we are celebrating. So, on Reformation Sunday, pastors often use the sermon or the adult education hour (or both!) to teach about Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century. I have done this myself. Quite a few times.
But this year may be different. I am growing much more interested in the future of this Reformation than in its past. For me, here in this place for the last 9 years, Reformation Sunday has become intertwined with the celebration of Affirmation of Baptism, aka Confirmation for our 10th graders. In fact, as I listen to A Mighty Fortress Is Our God in the morning, I will be thinking of the heads I will lay hands on in the afternoon. The precious heads of seven 15 year olds, four young men and three young women, each with a faith story, hopes, and dreams.
“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Will our seven young people take Jesus’ word for it?
Reforming God, shape us with your truth, the truth that brings freedom in your Son. Amen.