Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Year of Morning Thanks


Way back in 1517, on this day, Martin Luther nailed some arguments on the church door at Wittenburg, Germany, because he devoutly believed (he was devout in all things, but delightfully earthy) that his salvation was a gift of grace, not of man. Deliverance cometh (my word) by Jesus Christ, and not by way of some middle man.

Good Christian child that I was (and, I hope, still am), I remember being shocked when, in graduate school, I heard my Shakespeare prof, an Anglican, once chuckle about there being a ton of land barons in Germany who were a whole lot less religious than Luther but prayerfully on his side once he started to wreak some havoc in the church. I'd only ever thought about the Reformation as a movement in church history; but the fact is, Luther's 95 thesis were nailed to human history, just as definitively as the shot heard round the world. Without the Reformation, the American Revolution would have to had risen from altogether other roots.

Yesterday, in chapel, the speaker told us all that Luther, one of the most prolific writers of all time, has a shelf full of work, one hundred fat, German volumes. He said that when finally the old reformer died, his hand's rigor mortis made it seem he was still holding a quill, as if he had a few more chapters to write.

What a guy. What a story.

Amazing grace.


RickNiekLikeBikes said...

He was beautifully eccentric and persistent which, I believe what made him perfect for the task.

Amazing Grace. We don't know the half of it.

Dan said...

It's rigor mortis, Jim, rigor mortis. Now that the spelling issue is out of the bag, we'll also have to start treating the pernicious Obama fever. Perhaps spelling problems and political confusion are linked at some deep subconscious level. Nice reflection on Luther, nonetheless.

jcs said...

Oops. Now edited. I was in a hurry--had to babysit early this a.m. Forgiven? :)

Anonymous said...


Your are forgiven!

Don't let the spellcheckers and correctors out there dissuade you from continuing your daily blogs. We'd miss our A.M. fix.

—Michian Spellchecker

Anonymous said...

Whoops, please correct my sloppiness:

You are forgiven!

—Michigan Spellchecker

beim said...

I'm sure Luther would've voted for Obama.

Dan said...

Yes, James, all is forgiven. Oh, that the reality of God's sovereign grace extended to us in Christ would be foremost in our hearts and minds, as in Luther's, God-obsessed man that he was! It would purge even our deepest-seated bitterness and pride, political and otherwise. Not too audacious a hope, I think, to which this conservative realist may cling, though unarmed.