Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The WORD. The WORD. The WORD. Reformation celebration draws near. One great image of the Reformation is Luther holding the Bible in hand and pointing to the Word of God. Scripture Alone! The church is built and sustained by the Word of God. You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone. (Ephesians 2)
Preachers suffer for the Word of God. Old Testament preachers. New Testament preachers. Preachers today. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One. (Acts 7)
Luther suffered for faithfully preaching and teaching the Word. Our comfort is in the Word. Knowing that God is at work in and through His Word for your good. “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10) God's Word is powerful. It does what the Lord sends it to do. The Word will not return empty.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1) JESUS is the Word who takes on flesh and blood. He came down out of heaven to dwell with sinners. JESUS is out preaching and teaching the Word of God. He sent out his word and healed them. (Psalm 107)
JESUS dies for you, the sinner. The Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus rules His Church by His Word. JESUS takes His Word and attaches it to water to baptize you. You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God. (1 Peter 1)
Through Baptism you have been born into the Kingdom of God. The Baptized Children of God have a calling. To live by the Word of the Lord. To hear, believe and confess God's Word.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4)
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven He sent the Apostles out to preach and teach Christ’s Word. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28)
Each week the church gathers together as the Body of Christ to sit at our Lord's feet to hear. God's life giving Word is preached and taught into ears and hearts of the faithful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another. (Colossians 3) Lutherans have been known for being people of the Book (God's Word.) Not by our DNA but by the Spirit's power working in and through the Word.
May the celebration of 500 years of Reformation not be a simple tradition or history lesson. Rather, may the celebration of the Reformation give us at Zion a renewed zeal to be in the Word of God. Gathering together to hear the Word preached and taught in its truth and purity. Preaching, teaching, believing and confessing God's Word brings Glory to God. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
God's Word Is Our Great Heritage LSB 582:1
God’s Word is our great heritage And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way, In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant, while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure Throughout all generations.