Albrecht Dürer, 1512
The National Gallery of Canada
It is Reformation Sunday. It is good to look back and thank God for the reformation of the Church, for the return of … the Bible to the people, the singing God’s praise to the congregation, grace and sovereignty to God and God alone. I look forward to the hymn of Martin Luther ‘A mighty fortress is our God’ and joining in the prayer of John Calvin ‘I greet thee, who my Redeemer art’.
But I know this Sunday also challenges me with the truth that the Church is to ‘reformed and always reforming’. Yes, there are dimensions of Christian faith that are eternally valid. But how they are experienced and communicated change from one generation to another, from one context to another. And these changes must not only be acknowledged, but welcomed.
As we continue to journey through the Gospel according to Mark, we arrive at a scene in which Jesus speaks of overcoming ‘a strong man’ (Mark 3:20-27) and plundering his possessions. If this strong man were the Evil One, then it would be humanity that was in bondage. If Jesus has broken in and released us, how do we live this new and gracious freedom in our generation and culture?
Albrecht Dürer engraved this scene in 1512, just five years after Martin Luther began his service of Christ in the Church. It shows Christ ‘harrowing hell’, liberating God’s people who had died before his life, death and resurrection. I have enjoyed meditating upon this print with relation to this parable of Jesus early in his ministry. After all, is the resurrection life something lived only the other side of the grave? Is freedom not a particular way of life now as well as from the ultimate hold of death?
If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. With great joy we will be welcoming new members. And after the service, if you have time to linger, have a seat at our monthly congregational lunch and allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves.
Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.
Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us next Sunday, November 3, for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper.