+Upon his return from a home visit, as Luther fought his way through a severe thunderstorm, a bolt of lightning struck the ground near him
+”Help me, St. Anne” the frightened Luther screamed, hoping to escape the lightning. “I will become a monk!”
+In July, 1505, as required on entering monastic life, Luther gave away all his possessions, even his prized book
+By all evidence, Luther was extraordinarily successful as an observant Augustinian, just as he had been a student
+He did not simply engage in prayer, fasts and ascetic practices (including going without sleep, enduring bone-chilling cold, and flagellating (whipping) himself, he pursued them earnestly
+Despite common origins, two things set young Luther apart:
-First, Hans sent Martin to Latin school at age 14 and then on to the University of Erfurt.
- Second, Luther proved to be extraordinary, intelligent, earning his bachelor’s at age
19 and his master’s at 22-the shortest time allowed by the University. This earned
him the nick-name “The Philosopher.”A pleased Hans gave his son the costly gift of
the central text for legal studies at the time, the Corpus Juris Civilis.
+Unfortunately, the promising law student soon had doubts about the status of his soul and about his career his father had securely set before him.
+Luther was born on November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany (about 120 miles southeast of modern Berlin), where both parents may have worked as domestic servants?
+Hans, Luther’s father (spelling his last name Luder), quickly climbed to member of the city council?
+Luther remembered his childhood in part for (in today’s terms) its physical abuse? Both
his mother and his father beat him in frightening ways
+He became so estranged from his father on one occasion that Hans sought his
+But Luther also remembered, “He meant well by me.” Strict physical discipline was normal
in the era
+We are celebrating 500 years of the Reformation?
+Most scholars agree that the medieval church was in dire need of reform?
+Could complete schism have been avoided?
+Martin Luther and his fellow reformers stripped away the veil obscuring the good news of
grace through Christ alone?
+The Reformation that followed came at a high price: decades of warfare, political turmoil,
and social upheaval?
How should we think about our divisions today in light of Jesus’ passionate prayer that his followers be “one”?
+Did you know that next year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation?
+Did you know that five hundred years ago an obscure German monk published 95 theses (theological points for debate) and posted them on the community church door in Wittenberg?
+Did you know that the Lutheran Church traces its beginning roots back to this event?
+Did you know that the obscure German monk was named Martin Luther?
+And did you know that act by Luther unwittingly set off a revolution that continues to
shape the church and the world to this very day?!?