We’ve been talking a lot about Martin Luther this year. That is because 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of one of the most important events of the Protestant Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the “95 Theses” on the church door of Wittenberg Castle. These were statements that he wanted to discuss with church leaders in order to bring about necessary change in the church. The reform that followed would not only change the church, but also the world. While this reform was on a large scale, sometimes we forget that some of the most important reform happens in our hearts. More than 2,000 years ago, a baby was born in Bethlehem who came to reform our hearts and our lives.
Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ being born. The Christmas season is the time when we celebrate the gift that God gave us and remember to be loving to one another. It seems easier for our hearts to be reformed during Advent. We can be more generous, kind, and hopeful during that time. But after Christmas, we forget much of what we felt during the holidays. We can get busy, impatient, and forget to show kindness, gratitude, and joy. How can we remember to let our “reformed” hearts stay that way all year long?
Sometime during the season of Advent, write down what you find so special about Christ. List the things that bring you joy and remind you to make a difference in the world. Keep that list and then, when you find a time during the year when you aren’t feeling quite as jolly, take it out and read it again. Think of the things that reformed your heart during the holiday season and practice them all through the year.
Martin Luther didn’t risk his life and reputation so that people would think about Jesus only during Christmas; he wanted them to be closely connected every day of the year. If we want our world to be a better place, we might just remember that it helps to have a little Christmas in us all year long.
Brooks Lambert, St. Luke’s Youth