The reason we do well to celebrate such days as Reformation Day is that we’re commanded to remember to our children such deliverances of our God. We honor our earthly fathers because God our Father used them to bring about a great deliverance.
But there’s one impulse which wants to celebrate these fathers of the faith in all the wrong ways. They take the inheritance and build a shrine in order to honor the forefather. They take the wealth left to them, and squander it in attempting to keep the memory alive. The Reformers, in rediscovering this great treasure of the Gospel, invested the treasure handed down to them and produced a vast return on investment: millions more added to the number of saints.
We honor these fathers by taking the legacy they gave us, and, instead of building monuments to deliverances of the past, we invest it. This is done by imitating their faith & courage, in hopes that God will bring about a great deliverance in our day. The deliverance from Roman Catholic error–which we have every reason to celebrate–is a treasure which comes to us ultimately from God our Father. Each deliverance brings more glory into the storehouse. The deliverance of His people in times past assures us that God not only can, but shall ever deliver His people from all the dangers that imperil her. That is the treasure we invest, and which we dare not squander by monument building.
As we remember these stories to our children, it is so that they might honor their fathers of the faith by emulating them. We honor our fathers best by doing in our time as they did in theirs. And what did they do? They declared with fearless courage the free Gospel of salvation is by grace through faith.
We live in an age which does not honor father and mother. It mocks the wisdom of the past, thinking it can innovate or move beyond the antiquated ways of the past. But the truth which our fathers of faith discovered does not grow old. And though they pass away, the truths which they declared from God’s Word do not pass away. The messengers may have fallen silent long ago, but the Message they declared rings on still. May we honor them, by doing as they did: honor Christ above all in life, family, church, and state.
The Reformation was indeed a great deliverance, but God has greater things in store. One day, and may the Lord haste the day, every nation, tribe, and tongue will be brought under the sway of this Gospel. We honor these Reformation fathers best by taking the treasure they handed down and imparting the glory of this deliverance to our children’s children.