Today starts my last month in placement, and that is a little too real for me. But, I have some exciting things coming up too, which brings me to this week’s word:
Language: Biblical Greek
Part of Speech: verb
Translation: To testify, witness, address solemnly, insist, urge
One of my exciting times this last months started today with a three day training on the Lutheran Confessions with Pastors of the Lutheran Church in Cambodia (LCC) and the Cambodian Lutheran Church (CLC.) This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our Lutheran heritage and grow as two hutch bodies under one Church. On our first day today we mostly talked about the history of how the reformation started. Although there are many stories that have been made about Luther, he truthfully was not planning a reformation movement when he first nailed those 95 theses to the door.
As his path continued and his work was translated into German and distributed to the general population, there were a few events the really showed where Luther decided that he was going to push for the changes he wrote about. One was in an event that we could describe as a type of council meeting and after some explanation whether he will recant his statements or stand behind them and say that the pope can be wrong. He chooses to insist on his theses. That was a BIG DEAL back then and the fact that he questioned the pope’s authority was step one in sealing his fate.
Step two was when he received a letter that could have been his last way out. He had to answer questions so his old comments were then moot, or he was going to be excommunicated for what he did believe. He took the letter and burnt it in the town square. So, that killed any chance he had to return to the church and could also have cost him his life.
Our word of the week fits into all things because Luther chose not to back down. He had a Gospel revelation and was not intending to see those new thoughts and understandings of the Bible be pushed aside. He testified that there was corruption, witnessed on what he now understood as Gospel, addressed the issues solemnly, insisted on change, and urged that something be done. This word in Greek is also where we get the word martyr, which literally means witness.
Luther chose to stand up for the Gospel that was revealed to him, and got in a whole lot of trouble for it. But he continued, he did not back down, and he eventually when on to be a huge part of the history of Protestantism, and lutherans in particular. Hopefully you enjoyed a little church history today, and I urge you to find the things in your life worth testifying.