For the past month we’ve reflected on life in the Body of Christ and what it’s like to be a member of it. How fitting it is that the month ends with observances of significant moments in the church’s story.
While many people celebrate Halloween on October 31st, that day in 1517 is remembered as a pivotal day in church history. A young professor was concerned that people were trying to buy their way into relationship with God, so he went to the town bulletin board (the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany) and posted a notice written in Latin, announcing a discussion, along with 95 items to consider. Martin Luther didn’t know his “Ninety-five Thesis” would be translated into German and spread across Europe like leaves on a blustery day. It was used to stir hearts of common men to know the truth of God’s Word and experience salvation by grace alone. Luther paid a high price for declaring his convictions and was labeled an outlaw.
We can be thankful for those who stood firm through past centuries, so that the church has endured and thrived. As this new month begins, it reminds us of another significant day in church history. More than 1500 years ago lies were circulating about the person of Jesus Christ (sound familiar?), so a council was called in Chalcedon (across from Constantinople) to unite in the truth. This was first millennium Scripture Digging!
In 325 the Council of Nicea had affirmed that Christ is fully God, but the Council of Chalcedon took on the question about Christ’s humanity. Peter (the one on whom Jesus said He would build His church) warned in 2 Peter 2:1 that people would come to try and confuse the truth. They did, and they still do. On November 1, 451 the church leaders in Chalcedon declared a unified agreement that Jesus Christ is fully God, fully human, one person, with two distinct natures. It wouldn’t be for another thousand years that Martin Luther would hammer his list of concerns onto the Wittenberg door to clarify that Jesus Christ is sufficient to save men by His grace.
Followers of Christ continue to suffer today for their faithfulness. The history of the Church, of the individual PEOPLE of the Church, has passed on a great heritage to those of us today who still follow Christ, who still love His truth, who still want to dig into His Word. What other response can we give, but to be full of gratitude?
This month join us as we look at Thanks Giving. We’ll explore what the word means, examples of gratitude and ingratitude, how to be thankful in hard times, ways to express gratitude to God, and our own personal stories of growing in gratefulness. After considering our salvation and the growth of the church, our hearts are full.
In Jeremiah 33:11 our Heavenly Father invites us, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever.” We invite you to dig in with us this month to discover the beauty of giving thanks.