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The Feast of the Reformation, 10/26/2014

Sermon on Jeremiah 31:31-34, by Beth A. Schlegel

31: 31-34; Romans 3:19-28; John 8:31-36

In the years of my early childhood,
Reformation was a huge festival of what Lutherans are not.

-- Protestants back then wore orange
instead of green on St. Patrick's Day,

--we stood up proudly on October 31 and
declared ourselves to be NOT THEM
-- not Roman Catholic,

Thankfully, much has happened in the church
and in the world since my childhood, and we no longer celebrate Reformation as
a negative campaign against other Christians.

What I've come to see in this observance is
more of a reminder -- like a string around the finger, or a bright post-it note
on the refrigerator -- a reminder to remember the Gospel

May sound too simple, but essentially
that's what the Reformation was: Remember the Gospel.

that everything necessary for you and me to enjoy fellowship with God has been
secured for us by Jesus Christ. 

Remember that the perfect obedience
required of us was put on his account.

Remember that the condemnation we deserve
for our sin was inflicted upon the Lord Jesus.

Remember that the  penalty each of us has incurred was exacted
from him on the cross.

Remember that the inheritance of the
Father's life that rightly belongs only to the Son he extends to us who belong
to him by Baptism.

Remember the Gospel -- for in remembering,
we are set free from anxiety about whether we're doing well enough to qualify
for God's love.

at the same time, we are set free to work for the well-being of the family of
God to which we belong as heirs.

The distinction between slaves and sons is
not a distinction between work and no work, but between contract workers and

workers only get their wages if they perform adequately.

have the usual family chores to do, but their inheritance depends only on their
remaining in the family.

Family chores benefit the whole family.

Keeping the commandments, continuing in the
Word of Christ, benefits the whole family of God.

When we remain faithful to God's Word, we
remember the Gospel and receive from Jesus the inheritance of forgiveness and
grace God gives to all his sons and daughters.


Rev. Beth A. Schlegel
New York
E-Mail: Pastor Schlegel;