The Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

This crass but humorous image, created by Lucas Cranach the Elder, was found in a pamphlet written by Martin Luther in 1545 called Depiction of the Papacy. The image shows the Pope holding out one of his papal declarations regarding the heresy of the Protestant cause and the “fire and brimstone” that he said awaited them (imaged in the flames coming from the document). This is met with the image of two German peasants with pants half down, pointing their flatulating back sides at the “throne of St. Peter” and all it stood for! The Latin text at the top translates:

The Pope speaks: Our sentences are to be feared, even if unjust.
Response: Be damned! Behold, o furious race, our bared buttocks.

This Sunday, October 31, marks the day that the posting of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses on the church door in Wittenberg is remembered and celebrated. This event in the life of Martin Luther did not “start” the Reformation, but it captured so much of what the protests that were breaking out all over Europe sought to accomplish—a full scale re-formation of not only the Church but all of society as well. The Reformation was a complicated, confusing and contentious time—much as ours today. Therefore this Sunday, I would like to share some of the things that I have come to deeply respect about the Reformation and what those things might say to us today.

See you on Sunday!




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