St John Evangelical Lutheran Church

Now What?
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nov  That’s what Lutherans are asking themselves all around the globe. Now that October 31st has come and gone and all our 500th anniversary of the Reformation celebrations are over, now what?


It seems to me that we have three options.


The first is to forget about it and move on. But let’s be honest, we Lutherans like our history far too much for this option to be likely. 


So the second option is to drag this thing out for years to come. What is to stop us from celebrating the 500th anniversary of other moments in Martin Luther’s life? In the year 2021 we can celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s famous testimony at the Diet of Worms. In the year 2025, we can celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s marriage to Katie. In the year 2046, we can commemorate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s death. But why stop there? The Reformation didn’t stop when Luther died! In 2055 we can celebrate the Peace of Augsburg, the treaty that finally made it legal to be Lutheran. We could probably keep this going for another 500 years and celebrate the 500th anniversary of all our 500th anniversary celebrations in the year 2517!


OK, so maybe that’s a little ridiculous, but you get the gist. At what point do we put an end to all this focus we have given to the events that took place in Germany 500 years ago?


That brings us to the third option: we can look ahead. This past September I was blessed to travel to Germany and follow in Luther’s footsteps. It was an amazing experience, but not for the reasons I was expecting. What was so remarkable about the trip was how real everything was. As I have studied these events over the years they almost became fantasy in my mind, Luther and the reformers almost magical. Yet the reality of visiting these places was much more tangible. Wittenberg was just a small town. The churches were just old churches. The roads were the same roads I was walking on, and there is nothing magical about me! As the days went on, I was amazed by how unremarkable everything was. The Reformation was not some magical time in history. No, it was real people who used creativity, imagination, and a whole lot of perseverance to change what they saw wrong in their world.


So that’s my take away. Let’s honor the Reformation by looking forward to the next 500 years. Let’s stop rehashing our divisions with the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, let us work together with Catholics and other Christians using our creativity, imagination, and perseverance to change the wrongs we see in our world today. Let’s work to reform wrongs like consumerism, inequality, racism, hunger, violence, and corruption. Let’s keep reforming the world around us so that all people can experience the grace, love, and freedom of our God!


                                          Pastor Joe Natwick

Summer Day Camp Monday, Aug 8 - All Day
Boy Scouts Monday, Aug 8 @ 6:30 PM
Summer Day Camp Monday, Aug 8 - All Day
Quilters Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 8:30 AM
Staff Meeting Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 1:30 PM

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 THURSDAYS: 7:00 pm


Wednesday Night Worship & programs will resume in September!









St John Lutheran Church
146 6th AVE W
Dickinson, ND 58601

Phone: (701) 225-6747
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