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What is Reformation Day All About?
We at Covenant College have a reason to celebrate on October 31. No, I’m not talking about Halloween (although I do enjoy chocolate as much as the next person). Rather, this day is significant because it marks the birth of our Protestant faith. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This started a shock-wave that impacted every Protestant congregation from that time on
Where it All Began
When Luther was an Augustinian monk, the Roman Catholic Church was teaching that good works led to salvation, meaning, salvation had nothing to do with Christ but everything to do with your actions. Diving even deeper into this ‘works righteousness’ mindset, the church started selling indulgences that supposedly took years off of one’s time in purgatory. Essentially, the church was teaching that salvation could be bought at a certain price.
The Birth of the Protestant Reformation
Luther strongly opposed the church’s selling of indulgences. Not only was the church teaching a theology of salvation that was incorrect, but they were doing so in order to make money. Luther wrote his 95 theses in an attempt to call out corruption and spark conversation within the church about salvation, and did he ever! The 95 theses started an uproar in the church that would eventually lead to the Reformation and the Protestant Church.
His goal was to abolish the view of salvation as something that is earned or bought. For the people of Luther’s time, the proposition that salvation is obtained through God’s grace through faith alone was a dramatically different interpretation of scripture.
Reformation Day's Message of Hope for the Covenant Community
On this day, we remember Martin Luther’s boldness and conviction and celebrate the good news of salvation by grace alone. Reformed communities join together to recognize the life-altering truth of the gospel that connects each one of us. So while this may be a day for costumes and treats, for Covenant College, it is also a time to remember that the light of the gospel broke forth out of the darkness.