Because there is no other day like this, after I did translate the novel Luther and Katharina (Jody Hedlund) into Romanian for Scriptum Publishing House (here), this is the best article I found online about Luther and the real need of reformation we all are benefiting today of – it is as well number one in the Reformation-500 top 10 of Christianity Today publication – 500 Years After Luther: We Still Feel the pressure to Be Justified – original article here.
The best four quotes from it (this would be solely my opinion, of course), are these four:
“The mercilessness … hints at a tragic escalation of a phenomenon experienced not just by college students, but by everyone today—the pressure to perform, to make something of oneself, to become acceptable, to make a difference in the world, to justify one’s existence. It’s a phenomenon that cannot help but reinvigorate narcissism. It throws us back on ourselves, and when we falter in some irreversible way, we inevitably view self-harm as an option.”
“The law tells us what we ought to do; the gospel tells us what God has done. The law shows us that we need to be forgiven; the gospel announces that we have been forgiven.”
“busyness is more than a description of how we’re doing; it is one of our culture’s predominant indicators of worth and value, a measure of personal righteousness. The more frantic the activity, the better. The implication is that if we’re not over-occupied, we are inferior to those who are. As with all law-based barometers of self-worth (beauty, wealth, influence, youth, etc.), there is no enough.”
and by far the best:
“One of Martin Luther’s very first and most memorable expressions of his great discovery came in thesis 26 of The Heidelberg Disputation (1518). He wrote, “The law says, ‘Do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘Believe in this,’ and everything is already done.” The pressure to self-justify has been removed, and it has been replaced with freedom: the freedom to die and yet to live, to fail and yet succeed. The freedom to love, to serve, to wait, to laugh, to cry, to sit idle, to get busy—yes, even to play.”
Makes me think: How many of us thrive in living a holy life, relying on Grace solely, and how many of us live a cruel, merciless life of looking down on others and ourselves as well, on pretending a holy life that is not ours to produce, but God’s intimate work in our lives, and a proof of the reform our own life once experienced…
Thank you, Martin Luther, for your ‘overactive conscience” and your passion to go deep under the surface, for me to be able today to read the Scriptures in an understandable language, being free to walk in Christ’s grace, believing in His Forgiveness and His Holy Sacrifice on the Cross as being liberating and saving for this sinful soul of mine. Thank you for the comfort you provided by all you’ve done and fought for.