When was the last time that you experienced R and R? I am talking about reform and renewal, not rest and recuperation. My answer is best expressed by the Apostle Paul who writes, “So if anyone is in Christ there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (II Corinthians 5:17)
Reform and renewal are cornerstones of Christian living. They are an ongoing process in the lives of Christ-followers, as well as in denominations and the Universal Church.
R and R begins for us as individuals the moment we first enter into relationship with Christ and continues for as long as we live. Sometimes we are more keenly aware than other times of the transformation Christ is doing in our lives. But Christ is always bringing R and R to Christ-followers.
The Church, the Body of Christ, is also continuously being transformed by the One who is our head, Jesus Christ. Historically, we have seen this in times of “revival” of particular denominations. Similarly, certain periods in history, such as the Protestant Reformation, have resulted in significant reform and renewal of the Church Universal.
This Sunday, October 29, Christians all around the world will observe the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther’s nailing of his “95 Theses” to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany traditionally signifies the start of the Reformation and Protestantism. For more background on the development of the Methodist movement in relationship to the Reformation, see www.interpretermagazine.org/
Back to the question I posed at the beginning of this blog. When was the last time that you experienced R and R? I can think of no better occasion to ask this question as individuals, denominations and the Church Universal then during the year that we commemorate of 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Come, Holy Spirit, come.
As always, it is a privilege to serve as your bishop.
North Alabama Conference