It is a joy to write to you in this new year of 2017. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Numerous celebrations, symposiums, documentaries, and critiques of this monumental moment in church history will take place. While the Reformation was an ecclesiastical movement it was spearheaded by one individual, Martin Luther. There is one line from his defense offered at Worms that remains as powerful today as it did in 1521: "My conscience is captive to the Word of God." In that statement Luther acknowledged that the revealed Word of God was his singular template for faith and life. In today's world Luther's comments about the papacy of his day and the corruption of the church would have been branded as hate speech, yet Luther said he would not recant because of his commitment to the scripture. Can I challenge all of us at the beginning of this year of Reformation celebration to make Luther's confession our commitment? God help our consciences to be captive to the Word of God in order that our lives would testify to the reality of Jesus Christ and the power of the gospel. I often speak about the importance of finishing well but please receive this admonition at the beginning of 2017 to start well. May the scripture have a renewed place of prominence and preciousness in our lives.
Dr. Hal Irvine, Senior Pastor