On September 23, fall officially arrived. With the changing of the seasons, we now turn our attention from summer to early autumn activities. For us, it’s the running of the spots, the NC Spot Festival, Autumn with Topsail, and Halloween, right? But there is something else in October, something that happened 502 years ago that we should also celebrate. In fact, it is a watershed moment in world history, second only to the coming of Christ into the world 2020 years ago. What am I talking about?
On October 31, 1517, a professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg nailed a paper outlining 95 theses to the Castle Church door. He intended them to be propositions to be argued in formal academic debate. Instead the Theses began a revolution within the Western Church that changed it forever. Today we call that revolution “The Reformation”, and that professor’s name was Martin Luther.
His original intent was to call into question some of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church— particularly the purchasing of “indulgences” from clergy in order to free souls from Purgatory— and call her back to faithfulness and obedience to the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we need another Martin Luther to do the same to Christ’s Church today?
As Christian author, C.S. Lewis wrote in his book Mere Christianity* (1952), The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ, to make them little Christs. …God became a man for no other purpose. …It says in the Bible that the whole universe was made for Christ and that everything is to be gathered together in Him.
We become “little Christs” only through the power of the Holy Spirit as we rediscover the Jesus of the New Testament, much like Martin Luther did more than 500 years ago, and learn to become His obedient followers. I think this is the biggest challenge that faces the Christian Church today.
As we enjoy Autumn with Topsail and all of our fall activities, let us not forget our ultimate goal, which is printed on the front of our Sunday bulletins as our mission statement— To glorify God and to proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of All!
*Available in the EAMC library, Fellowship House, 2nd ﬂoor. Open Sundays 8:50-9:30am or by appointment. Contact Nancy Green (910-581-4178).
Rich Pollock is a retired Presbyterian minister. He lives in Topsail Beach with his wife Julia. Both are active affiliates of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel. Rich happily fills in at the pulpit when a guest minister is unavailable to lead us in Sunday worship.