September 4, 2020

Published September 5, 2020 by St Matthews Lutheran Church in Daily Message

Between 1527 and 1529, Martin Luther wrote and composed his famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” He based the text of this hymn on Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (verse 1).

Luther knew about trouble. He had been excommunicated by the church and declared an outlaw by the emperor. The bubonic plague had returned to Wittenberg, Germany. His 7-month-old daughter, Elisabeth, had died. Western Europe was under attack by the Ottoman Empire. Civil unrest resulted in the Peasants War, which was brutally crushed by the nobility. Luther lived in uncertain times.

If it wasn’t apparent to Luther and others what was happening, it was clear that something was happening. The world was changing. Political and religious turmoil wasn’t going on in a vacuum. This was a time of new technology—the printing press—and scientific discovery—Copernicus kicking Earth out of the center of the solar system (Luther wasn’t impressed). What new world was emerging? What new thing was God calling into being? How was the Spirit calling and shaping the church to be a clear witness?

Excerpted, UNCERTAIN TIMES, Bp. Elizabeth Eaton, Living Lutheran, September 4, 2020

From Pastor Ellen

What new things are we called to in our own uncertain times as we reach out in new ways? Pray that we will be open and receptive to the urgings of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be a sign of the new life we have in Christ.