Reformation Sunday is a festival Sunday unique to Lutherans. As the last Sunday in October, it’s a celebration of the day Martin Luther called out the 16th century European Church on it’s need to reform. He began a movement that resulted in what we call the Lutheran Church (and his contemporaries’ work resulted in other “Protesting” branches of the church), but is more than that. Martin Luther helped us recognize that the work of the Holy Spirit through the church is ongoing. Reforming isn’t a one-time thing from the 16th century, but never ends. As long as there is a church, there will be a need for reformation.
Reforming means changing, being made new, being re-formed. Therefore, the church that’s coming will not look like the church that currently exists. The sooner we accept this reformation, the sooner we’ll be set free to be part of it. Although I’m no expert or futurist, I believe the church that’s coming:
- will be more focused on following Jesus and less on following doctrines.
- will be more about compassion and less about conversion.
- will be more about what we do on Monday and less about what we do on Sunday.
- will be more about loving others and less about labeling them.
- will be more about celebrating diversity of beliefs and less about policing uniformity of them.
What do you think is the future of the church? Is there a future? If so, what might it look like? How will it be different? What needs to be re-formed? It’s all speculation at this point, but we need to be talking about it. Share your ideas and thoughts!