500 years since Reformation marked

Staff photo by Connor Cummiskey

The 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation was celebrated Sunday with a service at Martin Luther College (MLC).

Staff photo by Connor Cummiskey The 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation was celebrated Sunday with a service at Martin Luther College (MLC).

NEW ULM — The 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation was celebrated Sunday with a service at Martin Luther College (MLC).

In the Chapel of the Christ on the MLC campus, roughly 900 people participated in a festival service celebrating the half millenium since the Reformation.

The sermon was given by the Rev. Charles Degner, who spoke on the importance of reading the Bible. He began with emphasizing how to be obsessed with God’s word, which takes three things.

“One is the belief that God is speaking to you and, two, if you find the Gospel there in God’s words and, thirdly, you see Jesus,” Degner said.

Degner brought up arguments about the Bible being contradictory and not relevant to today’s world, and then dismissed them.

He used wives of World War II soldiers as a metaphor for how the Bible should be read. He asked the congregation to imagine themselves as wives of soldiers in 1944.

“You married a man who went off to war in 1941 and he has been gone for three years and every month you get a letter,” Degner said. “If you got a letter from your husband every month, wouldn’t you read it through carefully? Wouldn’t you read it over again and again and again to determine what he was feeling and what he was experiencing?”

Degner connected it to Martin Luther, who at first did not understand righteousness. Luther thought he had to achieve righteousness, he said.

In that pursuit Luther became a monk and then eventually a professor at the College of Wittenberg. As a professor he, upon rereading the book of Romans, learned that righteousness was not something for man to achieve.

“He thought righteousness was something he had to do and here, righteousness was a gift,” Degner said.

Degner wrapped up his sermon explaining that Luther became one of the first advocates for modern education, so that everyone could read their Bible.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at ccummiskey@nujournal.com.

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