Festival of the Reformation

Join us on October 30 as we celebrate the Festival of the Reformation! Our Sunday School children will sing by heart the hymn “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word,” by Martin Luther. But the Reformation festival is not a celebration just for that day; it is the culmination of the mini-season of “Michaelmas.” This begins on September 29, St. Michael and All Angels’ Day, when we are taught about God’s gift of the good angels, who guard and protect Christians and are fighting the devil and his evil angels all the time. But the chief battle is for our soul. We come into October singing that “I walk with angels all the way,” but we leave October by singing (in “A Mighty Fortress”): “Still is He with us in the fight, With His good gifts and spirit.”

Did you know that the hymn the children will sing was written against “the murd’rous Pope and Turk”? Those were the original words. Martin Luther also lived in a time of war. A powerful Muslim army was marching toward nearby Vienna when he wrote these words. He did not hide the hard truths from the children; instead he gave them words to pray. Although the version our children sing does not mention the specific false beliefs of Muslims and Roman Catholics, still our children learn to pray about the dangers to their faith and ask God for help. This is something we all need to learn. Reformation (and all of Michaelmas) is a time to take seriously the dangers to our faith, and to pray seriously that God would forgive us and help us!

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