On Reformation Sunday -- the last Sunday in October, commemorating October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther supposedly nailed his "95 Theses" to the church door in Wittenberg and thereby sparked what would become the Protestant Reformation -- we for whom our particular traditions within Christianity find their roots in the work and witness of the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century remember and celebrate our history and heritage. We give thanks for the ways our traditions' ancestors shaped the faith we still proclaim today. Even more importantly, we pray for the Holy Spirit’s power to come among us once more, to continue renewing and reshaping the church for faithfulness, witness, and courage in each tomorrow as we make new history together. After all, as an old saying goes, Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda est! (The church Reformed is the church always reforming!)
One of the key aspects of Christian faith and believe that the Protestant Reformers sought to reclaim and reemphasize within the life and witness of the Christian church was the core gospel message that ultimately we are made right with God not by way of anything that we ourselves do, but by God's own embrace of grace, which comes as a pure gift to us. In the scripture story we'll hear this week in worship, we'll see how Jesus sees and embraces "wee little man" Zacchaeus even before Zacchaeus has an opportunity to call out or respond. Soemtimes we go out seeking for God, simply to discover that it is God who is already seeking us--before and besides and despite anything we might do... and that's good news!