The Reformation was God’s providential act of liberation, freeing the consciences of His children. As you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, give thanks to God, knowing this unfettered access to His person and His favor is in Christ alone, and this knowledge is a gift of God given most clearly in the Protestant Reformation.
Faint panting grows, grows, grows; it grows.
Two trembling hands slap stone – outstretched, groping.
He staggers, intoxicated.
Lauds, nightly prayers turned nightmares by conscience,
Drive the monk through shadowed halls; he
Seeks pardon, respite from his thoughts.
“Forgive me, Father. I have sinned.”
“Oh, Brother Martin, not again.
It’s 3 AM, what have you done?”
“I’ve cursed my God, blasphemed His Son.”
“How so, dear soul? It’s been 3 hours
Since you were here, prostrate in tears.”
“My heart is black, I’m sick with pride,
I confess, then I’m razed inside.
My rib cage cracks beneath the force
of pounding heartbeats, wild, compelled
by guilt unknown to all but me.
I dread the Judge; I hate the Judge.
The Judge hates me; He…He hates me.”
“God doesn’t hate you, Martin. You
Hate you. You’re better than most. Rest.
And please, return when you have real
Sins to confess. Now rest.”
“The just shall live by faith.”
The rising, falling of his chest,
A deep and dreamless sabbath snooze,
Awoken – habit – Prime hour prayers.
Old terrors now unknown, God’s throne
A bulwark, fortified by faith.
The ancient foe, once worked his woe
Upon the mind of Luther, now,
Prostrate in prayer, this happy hour.
God – God the Father, his father,
Lord Sabaoth his friend, his heart
Is warmed by conversations – oh –
Those conversations with the King,
They bring the sweetness of the rain,
Those conscience-cleansing showers of grace
Make sin-sick minds sane, stone hearts
Soft, envelope deceived souls in truth.
The shadows of the night have passed,
The sunbeams strike his face; flung-wide,
The windows welcome warmth, scattering night.
The grace of God puts damnation to flight.
Post Tenebras Lux – after darkness, light.