Once, there was a dream that was the church. This Dream, was of a unified group, that would change the world. It was our Saviors Desire that we would all be one. We never really hear Jesus Pray for his own desires. This is the only time, we ever in scripture, see him almost be selfish, even though the request he makes of the Father, is one of Selflessness.
Fast forward about 1500 years. A Young Augustinian monk, brilliant beyond his years, realizes that the church has some legitimate corruption. He tries to point out what is wrong, why it is wrong, and how to fix it.
As what often happens with time honored tradition based groups, he was met with disdain and prejudice. How dare this little monk… presume to tell the princes of the church, how to act, what to say, and when to say it!
Sadly, he would be excommunicated, and what would follow would be a splintering of the church that would continue for the next 500 plus years. Even amongst his own tradition, the Lutherans, there are sharp divides depending on which Lutheran you talk to.
Some would argue, that all of these expressions are beautiful, however, we are missing one core tenet – We are no longer one. We can agree on some things, but we cannot even cohesively function as a group. We spend more time arguing, and less time doing. While the word “Heresy” isn’t used… it certainly is still implied by our attitudes towards each other.
So, I struggle with how we can celebrate Reformation day. If Anything, Catholic and Reformed Christian a like really need to use this day to step back, reflect, and consider why we are still so divided.
At the end of the day, we all adhere to the Creed. We all believe the mystery of Faith, Christ Died on a Cross, He Destroyed our Death, and he will come again in Glory. Yet again, we are still separated. The Body of Christ mystically bears wounds as apparent as the five holy wounds were to Thomas the apostle.
Don’t get me wrong – I will also always point out, I think good or bad, happens for a reason, and the reformation was allowed to the Church to wake it up. We weren’t talking to each other, and had become complacent with small T Traditions, rather then going deeper, and having an Encounter, a very personal encounter, with our Lord and Savior. Like a father, God always is teaching, and always nudging us to go deeper. Perhaps after 500 years, we have made just enough progress to start moving back towards each other.
I don’t think we were unified up to that point – We are complacent under fear and a lackluster monotony. Perhaps with a clear divide, we can truly learn how to be unified again, and just how precious that unity is.