Stories of the Reformation: Preview

People sometimes tell me that they don’t like history, but I never believe them. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t enjoy a good story, and our favorite stories are the true ones. It's why we read books and watch movies. History is simply the telling of the stories. The problem is not a lack of interest in history; the problem is how the story is told and heard.

I’ve discovered that people who love history are the ones who are able to imagine themselves in the same situation as the people of history. For example: What would you have done if you had been living in Virginia during the civil war? What if you were just trying to get a farm established during the American Revolution? The reason that movies are one of the most powerful ways to tell the stories of history is that the sights and sounds pull us into the story in ways that printed or spoken words often fail to do.

I’ve always been a lover of all things historical, but my favorite stories are the stories of church history.

This year marks 500 years since the beginning of the Reformation. October 31 is historically understood as the day when Martin Luther walked up to All Saints Church in Wittenberg Germany and nailed his 95 thesis on to the door of the church. These Thesis were 95 complaints against the corruption in the Roman Catholic church, 95 reasons for the established church and government to hate him, 95 reasons for the common person to love him, and 95 reasons why the church would never be the same again.

What happened in that generation is worth celebrating and the stories are worth re-telling. If I could chose to be anywhere in the world on October 31 this year; I would chose to be in Wittenberg Germany. The little town of about 2,200 people is anticipating 2 million visitors on that day to celebrate the birth of the Protestant Reformation.

I’d like to do my own little celebration over here in my weekly writings. In the next several weeks, I hope to tell some of the stories of the Reformation in a way that captures our imagination and strengthens our faith. Place yourself in each of these stories. What would you have done?

I'm looking forward to revisiting history that reaches our lives today!

Floyd Yutzy