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Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Turlock, CA

Pastor's Thoughts for October 2009


Each month our pastor writes to us from our Turlock church to share his thoughts on a topic of religious significance. His goal is to link the word of God as it is presented in the Bible and apply it to the context of our daily lives. Although each of these messages is dated they are in fact timeless in their spiritual significance.


The Lutheran Church goes back to Jesus Christ Himself. The Lutheran Church rests, not on Luther, but on the Lord Jesus. Luther merely cleansed the church of its impurity of his day. Luther taught nothing new.

Luther's posting of the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg was not intended to be a dramatic act. The church door served as a kind of bulletin board for the University and it was quite customary for professors of the University to post there things which they wished to debate with other scholars.

Luther posted his theses as an offer to debate these points. He himself had little idea that these simple sentences would cause a stir throughout the church. Even at this time Luther considered himself a devout Catholic. It was not long before he realized that a break with Rome could not be avoided. Luther never wanted to break with the Roman Church; he wanted only that the church should reform itself and put away its false teachings and unchristian practices.

The 95 Theses became the symbol of the beginning of the Reformation period. Though there had been reformers before Luther's time who tried to cleanse the church, they were martyred and killed for their resistance to the church. This, again, was the fullness of time when Luther was able to give the leadership that was necessary. This leadership came for a number of reasons: the printing press coming into being, the Scriptures being translated and made known to the common people, so that Luther had the support of the common people who ultimately helped to save his life.

The date that is used to commemorate the Reformation is October 31, 1517 when the 95 Theses were posted. Luther completed his translation of the whole Bible into German in 1534.

-Pastor Starkey