Remembering the Reformers

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October 13, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, so we Lutherans have been hearing a lot about the people and events that played a role in the world changing movement called the Reformation.  In our sermon Sunday, my husband discussed what the Reformers went through to make the Bible available to everyone. He said that these days the Bible has been called the most purchased and least read book in America.  Almost everybody has one …or more, as there are a myriad of different translations and specialty versions….but do we remember to give thanks for that gift, and realize what a privilege it is to have God’s Word readily available to us in our own language? We take this for granted but many people were persecuted and killed in order to make that happen.  Here are a few:

  • Johanm Esch & Henrich Voes–the first Lutheran martyrs burned in Brussels in 1523
  • Martin Luther–condemned by Papal Bull in 1520 and by the Diet of Worms in 1521
  • Jan Hus–burned in 1415
  • Girolama Savonarola–Hanged in 1498
  • Hugh Latimer & Nicolas Ridley–Burned in 1555
  • Thomas Cranmer–Burned in 1556
  • John Knox–Condemned to be a gallery slave 1547-1549
  • George Wishart–Hanged in 1546
  • William Tyndale–Burned in 1536 in Brussels
  • John Wycliffe–Died a natural death in 1384 but his bones were later dug up and burned, scattered in the Thames

So next time you read your Bible–or the next time you put off reading your Bible–remember how many people risked or gave their lives so that you could have it.  Your Bible was purchased for you by the blood of martyrs.  Take that seriously and take time to read it.

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