A New Reformation

John 8:31-36; Matthew 22:34-40

John 8:31-36

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

Matthew 22:34-40

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Sermon A New Reformation

Good morning. A couple weeks ago, I shared a story with you about my trip to Germany—a trip to the heart of the Protestant Reformation. I was really moved by that trip. As I reflect on that trip, the history of the place, and this moment in history, I believe it’s time we had a new reformation. Maybe that’s a little bit over the top or even arrogant.

Who am I to call for a new Reformation?

Then again, who was Martin Luther?

In 1517, Luther was simply an obscure German monk. He was a theology professor at the University of Wittenberg. The university was founded in 1502; it was very new. This wasn’t one of the great intellectual capitals of Europe, and Luther hadn’t published anything that was particularly noteworthy. Wittenberg wasn’t the place and Luther wasn’t the person who ought to have started the Reformation—one of the most important events in western history—nor did Luther intend to do so.