Millions of Americans travel door to door seeking a veritable sugar high each Oct. 31st. The church perennially fights over the validity of Halloween as a tradition celebrated by Christians. I am not speaking into that, but another tradition; the celebration of Reformation Day.
It’s the biggest cover up in the Protestant Church. Almost 500 years ago, one monk nailed a list of grievances and disagreements against the church, to a church door. What happened next was the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost. Here’s the rub; we, the spiritual heirs of this momentous event, are blatantly ignorant of our inheritance. Hardly anyone knows their Protestant heritage. What happened?
Parents are concerned their sons and daughters may sacrifice the faith as they drive into the college parking lot. A common pre-emptive that is consistently over looked is the passing on to the next generation a common identity. For Protestants, that is a specific identity grounded in Scripture and history. You may ask, “How do Protestants pass on their identity?”
Celebrating Reformation Day in Community
No man is an island, true. This is most especially true in the Covenant Community. My family capitalizes on this special occasion to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice’ by fellowshipping with like-minded believers. By strengthening community, we strengthen our identity. But building a rock solid community requires work, and lots, and lots of time. Time getting to know each other, and parties are some of the best ways to do that. If, and when, my children decide to pursue a degree, we pray that that our tight-nit community will have helped shape their identity. A community that is created by celebrating Reformation Day.
It is sad to fail to take advantage of the only distinctly Protestant holiday in existence. Previous generations are seeing the results of ‘letting the child make up his own mind’. Scripture however, exhorts parents to “raise children up in the way they should go.” If we are genuinely convicted that our Protestant faith is valid, then our actions will speak louder than our words. Parents who do not seek to pass on their faith are themselves unfaithful. Yet I am encouraged as thousands around the country are returning to their orthodox historic faith.
We celebrate that history, and the God-granted victories in that history.
I am encouraged at the recent desire to celebrate and champion the Protestant heritage. Recent decades have seen a resurgence of the Reformed faith and understanding. It could not have happened without looking to Church history. We celebrate that history, and the God-granted victories in that history.
The Power of Song
Music reflects a culture in a way nothing else can. Music gives identity. The book of Psalms, it should go without saying, was penned for singing. Psalms is also the third largest book in the Bible. Clearly ‘songs, hymns, and spiritual songs,’ are one of God’s ways of inculcating and strengthening our collective identity. It is unwise to place fallible songs written by you and I on the same level of the Psalms. With this caution in mind, we should enjoy the benefit of the collective wisdom and beauty of songs and hymns written by our forefathers.
The monk that hammered that list on the church door also wrote many songs. We sing one of them, the battle hymn of the Reformation, each Reformation Day. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” bolsters my own faith and that of my family’s. Furthermore, we celebrate the Reformation afresh.
Are you a Protestant? Will you join us?
Oct. 31st is a great day for traditions. Join us in our declaration of Soli Deo Gloria. Unite with us in pursuing something more important than sugar highs. For we seek the mountain top experience that comes from deep knowledge of the truths of God. The Reformed doctrines of Grace, once climbed, never fail to deliver.
My family also prays at the close of each October. We pray that our children will find that mountain top experience from God’s truths. Community, song, and prayer, I am watching slowly transform my family each year. Each year the Protestant identity is being hammered in more deeply, for God’s glory. Alone.
For Further Discussion:
Missional Wear offers 15.17% discount store wide
The Gospel Coalition on Why the Reformation Matters Today