Living Through History

Written by Anthony Douglas on 08 July 2017.

As we keep exploring the history of the Reformation, you’ll have noticed that the stories we uncover aren’t dull. Men and women keep taking incredible risks, keep making incisive discoveries, never forsaking the gospel that had blazed to life in their generation.

What would it have been like to live through the Reformation? It’s hard not to wonder... Would we have had the same courage, the same initiative, the same dedication? If I had been Luther, would I have tried to be more politic? If I had been Zwingli, would I have taken up arms?

It’s not a new question, of course. We often take a similar approach as we read the Bible. Would I have done any better than Jesus’ disciples when listening to all his teaching? Would I have followed Moses through the Red Sea?

The thing is, we live in such ordinary times, so we mull over these adventures from our armchairs. It’ll never happen to us...

Apple TreeMartin Luther was once reputedly asked, as he worked in his veggie patch, what he would do if he knew for certain that Jesus’ return was the following day. His reply? He’d plant an apple tree. His point was that living the godly life is an everyday activity.

Luther didn’t know the firestorm that he would light, when he hammered his list to the door. He just knew it was the right thing for him to do, to be faithful to God and to his neighbours. No more do we know whether the choices we make might prove to change the world, or even just our part of it. But so what? Jesus called on his servants to be ready for the master’s return - and being ready meant being about their daily work. Let’s live our lives as if each day were our last...and be faithfully ordinary.

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