500th Anniversary, What Does This Mean?
Several people have asked me what exactly is this the 500th anniversary celebrating. It is the first in what could be a whole long line of 500th anniversaries. 2017 marks five hundred years since the young monk Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg – October 31, 1517.
Luther was alarmed with some of the things that he saw happening in the name of the church, not the least of which was the sale of indulgences. Through the purchase of a single sheet of paper, you could free your family members from the pains of purgatory*. You could also buy a “get out of purgatory free” indulgence to cover your past and future sins.
These together with other teachings that Luther found troubling were posted in the theses for scholarly discussion and debate. Thanks to the invention of the printing press in 1440 and it’s ability to mass distribute information, news of Luther’s concerns spread quickly and were not well received! This was the moment that sparked one of the greatest reformations the world has ever seen.
LutheranReformation.org has a 12-week bulletin series to help your congregation celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We have created a 12-week series to run the back of their inserts to share more of the story of the reformation. They are available for FREE as a .pdf (unbranded) for you to use.