The reception of the Protestant Reformation in the United States Latino and Latin American church is a sweet agony. On the one hand, there is the continuity of missional passion, while on the other hand, there are discontinuities in the theological heritage. Still, the Latino church continues to grow rapidly as more people confess “Jesús es el Señor.”
This year we commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, commonly associated with Martin Luther nailing ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. The movement unwittingly launched so long ago has ended up having enormous influence over the past five centuries. Politically, socially, economically, culturally, and in many other ways, the Reformation has helped to mold the world we live in today.
Reformation Day services are often festive, rightly celebrating the recovery of central Christian truths in the Protestant Reformation: the great “solas”—by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Another great recovery in the time of the Reformation was that of congregational singing and particularly of psalm-singing. It was psalm-singing that became part of the focus of the 2012 Reformation Day service of several Christian Reformed churches in Sioux Center, Iowa.
Each year four churches in Woodstock, Ontario, gather for a combined service to celebrate Reformation Day. Those four churches are Knox Presbyterian, Emmanuel Reformed, Maranatha Christian Reformed, and Covenant Christian Reformed. In this service the focus was on remembering that God is present in all facets of our lives.
Welcome and Announcements
Silent Prayer (Concluded with singing “I Love You, Lord”)
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses on the church door at Wittenberg—an action that helped to spark the Protestant Reformation. Protestants of various backgrounds commemorate this act on the Sunday closest to Reformation Day (October 31) each year. In fact, all believers are indebted to the Reformers’ courageous stand for the purity of the gospel over against virtually all the civil and ecclesiastical forces of their day, armed only with an unshakable confidence in God and his Word. Many were persecuted; some paid with their lives.
A vibrant and living church is also a confessing church—a church that hears the good news, experiences the gospel power, and uses its own language to say what it believes. Already in the Old Testament, Israel confessed their faith in their own context: “Yahweh, One God, Yahweh, Our God” (Deut. 6:4). This confession protected true religion from the polytheism of the Canaanite idolatry. The early church confessed that “Jesus is Lord” (Rom.