Friday, October 31, 2008

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea celebrates Reformation Day

This week on Lutheran Churches throughout the world celebrate with worship services the Reformation Day.

 It was on October 31 in 1517 that Dr Martin Luther posted the 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, for discussion by the theological faculty of Wittenberg University toward improving the spiritual situation of the church at that time. Those theses triggered series of meetings and conferences within the church and with the government of the day on the theological issues concerned.

 When in 1530 the church of the day and the government did not accept the theological position of the Lutheran party, the Lutheran pastors and theologians began to organise themselves into what is now the Lutheran Church.

The teaching of the Lutheran Church then and now is based on the following four pillars: Christ alone, Faith alone, Grace alone and Scripture alone.

 Everything else, including the church practice, is subordinate to and needs to relate to these four for their acceptance and application for Christian faith and witness.

For the Lutheran Church the Word of the Gospel is the prime means by which Christ, Grace and Faith are offered to God’s people.

The Lutheran Church throughout the world is conducting worship services of thanksgiving and praise to God for offering those blessings to His church.

 Just as much as it has received so much from God free, so the church lives to offer services to others including the civil society.

 According to a summary of Luther’s own teaching where he uses an illustration that a fruit tree bears delicious fruits not for its own use but for others to enjoy, so should the Christian do with what he or she has.

Christians are there not to serve themselves but to serve God and others.

 According to Luther’s ethics of economy, anything else one has as extra, is for his or her neighbor.

 If all the members of the church followed that principle, Papua New Guinea should have enough for everyone and the country should be well off.

According to the ELCPNG Church Secretary Mr Isaac Teo the members of the ELCPNG should rise up and take their calling and responsibility in the church and society and contribute positively.

There is so much for the members of the church to do and contribute.

Those who are responsible to preach the Gospel must do their job faithfully and the rest of the members need to put the Word of God into action and provide for their neighbors and the needs of the wider community.

The celebration should be about life and life in its fullness as God offers us in His Son. So the members of the church should provide their services to those in need in fullness just as they have received theirs from God in fullness.

 And that is the message of the church to its members throughout Papua New Guinea for this year’s Reformation Day Celebration.  

On July 12 this year the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea celebrated its 122 years of service in Papua New Guinea.




1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:18 AM

    Good to find a blog in Papua New Guinea. I added you blog with other Lutheran blogs in weblinks in a category "Lutheran weblogs in Asia"

    Please visit our Asia Lutheran Communion site and register there and other websites form Papua New Guinea.