Five hundred years ago today, an obscure monk in a backwater Saxon town posted a piece of paper on a church door. In so doing, Martin Luther began a movement which would rock the Christian Church with the notion that there is no higher authority for Christian truth than the words of Christ and His apostles, and that God freely accepts all who come to him in repentance and faith in His Son regardless of how flawed. weak, and errant they have been.
Much will be written today about the impact of the Reformation on theology, government, marriage, mores, and even beer (the break with Rome meant that the traditional spices used in brewing, over which the Catholic church held a monopoly, would have to be replaced in Protestant lands by a weed called "hops"). But most of all, it brought to the forefront a basic reality of life, obscured though never truly erased by human power-grabbing and intellectual presumption: that at the center of reality is a God Who loves you not because of who you are, but because of Who He is, and Who stands in the breach on your behalf even in the face of your greatest shame, and even in the face of death itself.
May the Gospel whose recovery began five hundred years ago today comfort your heart, inspire your soul and fill you with the Life that can never die.