Monday, October 31, 2011

Being Lutheran

Yesterday was Reformation Day at my church.  It's always a big celebration day in the Lutheran church because it's when we remember that Martin Luther hung the grievences on the Catholic church doors back then - and he got in big trouble for doing it!  But, the grievences let the commoner know what was going on within the church hierarchy and how misguided the leaders had gotten.  It also turned the world upside down by stating people didn't have to earn their way to heaven  - or give to the church for entry in - to church, or heaven. 

Martin Luther didn't plan on starting a new Christian church.  He was a Catholic monk and proud of it. 
But, his followers ended up honoring him by naming themselves after him. 

So, that's a bit of the history of it.   Reformation Day is a Lutheran Sunday each year, the last Sunday in October.  It's become a day to be proud of who we are, to sing "A Mighty Fortress is our God" and to celebrate how far Martin Luther's beliefs have come.

Personally, it's a day I love - because  it's a day that reminds me of many things.  It's a day that says who I am.  I grew up in the Lutheran Church.  I'm the daughter and granddaughter of Lutheran pastors.  My one grandmother was the church organist; my other grandmother was her church's choir director. I was baptised, confirmed, and married by my Lutheran pastor, my dad!   So, it's pretty safe to say I will be Lutheran til the day I die - and then I'll join all those others who have gone before me.

I was telling some friends yesterday that I remember when I was a kid and living in Cleveland that on Reformation Day afternoon we would go to the huge downtown convention center for a big celebratory  service with all Lutherans from northern Ohio.  We filled the place!  All the church choirs joined in to become one big choir - and the music was awesome - all the tradition Lutheran hymns were sung. Even as a youngster I knew it was a special event.

Oh!   I just used that word:  TRADITION!  As I have gotten older I find I love certain traditions that keep me connected with my memories.  I love hearing familiar uplifting music and liturgy I know.  It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.   I try and keep an open mind and except the new ideas with it.  Really, I do.  And some of the "new" is really nice.   Some of the "new"  (I won't say which ones exactly, but let's just say I'm not going to a movie theatre to worship) just doesn't do it for me.  But, that's fair.  I know some of my traditions don't do it for others.  

But, there's no doubt that Reformation Day is a day of tradition.  My ancestors came from Germany, the land of Martin Luther.  It's my heritage - it's in my blood.  Again, it's who I am!  

PS:  I have always said "I'm a German Lutheran and there's no changing it."   I use that line sometimes as an excuse, or to make light of why I sometimes do what I do.  Yes, Germans are stubborn people by nature.  Serious, and hard working.  And they are very proud people. 

Yesterday was a wonderful day for remembering.


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