God’s beloved people,
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples: and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free”. John 8:31. These words of Jesus are always part of the Gospel reading for Reformation Sunday, which is October 30th this year. Jesus urges us to continue in his word, but as Christians we also say Jesus is “the Word: the Word of God.” I know the Bible is also the Word of God, but perhaps even more importantly, Jesus himself is the Word. Jesus is God’s good Word of love, life and salvation to us in the flesh. And Jesus is truth. That’s not to say other things are not true. Of course they are. But in this day and age of information overload, it is often hard to discern what is truth and what is not. As Christians, we can say that finally, truth is a person: the person of Jesus. Truth is more than just theological or philosophical constructs (as much as I enjoy those). Truth, finally, is the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who lived, died and rose again for our salvation.
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36. This is the truth that set the Reformer Martin Luther free over 500 years ago. The truth of Jesus set Luther free from trying to earn his way up to God in heaven. He knew he was not good enough for that impossible task. The truth of Jesus set Luther free to question the way-too-powerful medieval church of his day. The truth of Jesus set Luther free to translate the Bible into everyday language so that people could read the good news of Jesus for themselves.
The truth of Jesus sets us free to rely totally on God’s grace and love. The truth of Jesus sets us free for a life of caring and sharing with our neighbors in need. As Luther was fond of saying, “God does not need my good works, but my neighbor does.”
The church reformed and always reforming: Peace and truth in Jesus, Pastor Dennis