Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
35 West Fairmount Avenue Lakewood NY  14750

(716) 763-8979 or 665-2102 [email protected]



Pastor Hoyer's Weekly Message

     When Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Castle Church front door, priests were the only people who preached, the one people who baptized, the only people who "said the Mass" (spoke the words about the Lord's Supper), the only ones who read the Bible and the only ones who interpreted the Bible.  Thus, the priests, on behalf of the whole church, were in charge of all the knowledge of the church.  No one could question what the priest said or did, for they had, as was taught then, "divine power" to do God's commands.  All church members were to do as they were told.
    One result of this church policy in which only priests could teach and preach was that all the other believers in Jesus, all the church members, did nothing to tell each other about Jesus.  They did not speak Jesus' forgiveness to each other.  They went to confession for that.
    Luther, a few years after his 95 Theses, began to teach that all people who trust Jesus get to read the Bible.  All people who trust Jesus get to give each other Jesus' forgiveness.  All people who trusted Jesus were to speak of Jesus to each other, and teach each other about Jesus using material such as Luther's Small Catechism.
    One Bible verse that Luther used to support his idea that all people could read the Bible, forgive, and teach and tell each other about Jesus, is from 1 Peter 2, "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."  We heard that on the Fifth Sunday of Easter.  Luther would point to that verse and say, "See, we are all priests.  We all get to tell each other how Jesus forgives us, and how Jesus gives us eternal life.
    Lutherans still teach the same thing, that we are all priests.  We are the ones who get to give Jesus' goodness to others, who get to tell others Jesus died and rose from the dead, who get to forgive each other in Jesus' name.  
    So talking about Jesus was no longer just for Sunday or when in church.  Every day and every minute were times people could give each other Jesus' mercy, Jesus' forgiveness, and Jesus' peace.  Jesus is not just for Sundays, but to trust and live in and use in every moment and event of each day.  Luther brought Jesus into the everyday lives of people.  We get to live in Jesus in our everyday lives, too.