Hope Lutheran Church seeks to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ,
to proclaim the gospel to others, and to strive for unity in Christ.
Copyright © Hope Lutheran
Hope Lutheran Church
113 South Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 87
Minneota MN 56264
A Note from the Pastor
God’s Word forever shall abide, No thanks to foes, who fear it; For God himself fights by our side with weapons of the Spirit…(A Mighty Fortress is our God, LBW 229
Your word is a lamp to my feeta light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The sum of your word is truth;
and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever. (Psalm 119:160)
[Jesus said,] ‘It is written,
“One does not live by bread alone,
by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’ (Matthew 4:4; quoting Deuteronomy 8:3)
The grass withers, the flower fades;
the word of our God will stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen. (Martin Luther’s reply to the Holy Roman Emperor, when called to recant his writings, 1521)
On October 31st we celebrate the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. It was on this day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” on the church door at Wittenburg, Germany, where he was a monk and Professor of Biblical studies. The posting of this document, which dealt primarily with his objection to the sale of indulgences, drew the attention of the Pope and eventually led to Luther’s excommunication from the Roman Catholic church. The sale of indulgences basically allowed people to buy forgiveness of sins, which Luther rightly saw as a violation of the scriptures and the gospel.
The Reformation emphasized three “solas,” Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Sola Scriptura. In English, those are, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Word (Scripture) Alone. These “solas,” sum up the way God relates to humanity. Forgiveness of sins comes not through a priest, the church, the merits of the saints, holy relics, the pope, the bishops, or even the good works of the people. The forgiveness of sins comes through the word of God, by grace, through faith. Without the Word there is no forgiveness of sins. Without the Word there are no sacraments, there is no church, there is no interaction between God and humanity.
In the challenges of doing church in the last couple of years, I have been led to think about the essentials of the faith, the essentials of church. What I have come to is that what is essential is the Word of God and someone to hear it. What is not essential is pretty much everything else. Buildings, committees, pews, stained glass, beautiful music, rituals, ceremonies, and even pastors, are useless without the Word. All of those are helpful, but none are essential. The Word of God enlivens all of those things, and without those things, the Word of God still stands.
Thanks be to God for the gift of God’s Word.
Peace Y’all, Pastor Allen