Reformation Sunday reminds us of the most important things.
When many RCA churches think about Reformation Sunday, the thought that comes to some students of theology is the preparation centered on the great European Theologians in the 16th century, during a time when the church coincided with complexities filled with theological, political, and economic challenges.
In some respects, the church continues to be challenged with the issues of earthly sins and the need to seek cleaning for oneself and others as we recall this historical crisis in Church History. The thought of selling and buying indulgences on October 31, 1517, as fulfillment for acceptance of the Lord and cheap Grace affordable for the privileges, caused many to ponder what is Reformation for the Reformed Church in America today, especially as we pray for the leading of God’s Spirit on the RCA Restructuring Team.
Reformation Sunday can be an opportunity to tell the stories of our church, and an opportunity to remember what is important. As a Synod of New York, we observe the stories of our faith and the Grace and Mercy of a Loving God in our complex world. At An RCA CPAAM conference at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, I listened to the stories of our Asian American Christians about their names; I attended a Worship service as our Hispanic brothers and sisters celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, praising God, acknowledging God as “Waymaker”, “Eres Hacedor de caminos, hacedor de milagros, cumplidor de promesas Luz en la oscuridad Dios mío, eso es lo que eres Eres”; in several of our mainline church installation services I was uplifted with the voices of “A Mighty Fortress”; I listened to my friends in Michigan as they prepared for the Tulip Festival in 2024 as a cultural celebration; I was reminded by CERCA Native America Christian Educators of the importance of preserving God’s creation; and gathered with our African American families as we rehearsed the hymn, “God Has Brought Us a Mighty Long Way” as we pray for God’s continued justice to reign.
Reformation in our creeds and standards seeded in the Word of God, challenges us to be more loving and gracious because God continues to be gracious and merciful to all Christians. We are called to repent of the times that we have placed barriers (of racism, sexism, separation, and injustice) that have kept others from hearing the Good News of a loving Savior. As a child, I remember my mom would teach us at the kitchen table in a one-room apartment that we were a gift from God. What a new reformation of the church! Wow!
Be well, stay well…
Reformed, Reforming, and Reforming Daily,
Rev. Dr. Micheal Edwards