On an Unexpected Time

In life, there are times when the plate is too full. Overwhelming feelings are just that, but still real to us. Other times simply have too many things happening at once, but they too are very real.

In my case it is the later – most notably, both my mother-in-law and father-in-law are in the hospital. There are other important tasks also to juggle at this time, so it’s best I step away from blogging for a bit …  thus no new posts and maybe limited visiting. I’ll let time dictate that. Personally, I hope it is just for the rest of the week. My next post will be Monday Morning Entertainment, in which I will also provide an update.

My in-laws love these songs, so to spread hope for their recoveries, listen to as many as you want. Which did you choose?

On Reformation Sunday

Oddly enough, Reformation Day is just a few days before Election Day 2010. On the other hand, changes desired by many voters today is not even close to the changes brought forth by the Protestant Reformation leaders.

The reformation of the 1500s brought forth changes in political, economic, social, and artistic aspects of society. New Christian denominations formed. The Roman Catholic Church eventually changed. Through the historical lens, no wonder historians list the Protestant Reformation as one of the most impacting events in history.

Martin Luther wanted to reform the Roman Catholic Church – not leave it – yet his theology is the foundation of Lutheranism. However, today’s Lutherans divide themselves into different organizations as they interpret both the words of Luther and the Bible differently. Then comparing any of the Lutherans to other Christian denominations is another story.

Nonetheless, many congregations today can find their roots in the events approaching 500 years ago. Today, an aspect of the Tea Party movement wants to force their religious philosophy onto everyone. I say we may need more study, dialogue, and inward reflection to bring about a reformation of the current religious climate.

Below are three videos, a choir’s hymn set to images from the Reformation, a handbell choir to the same tune, and for those who have the time, a longer travel documentary by travel guru Rick Steves.

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Singing Choir)

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Handbell Choir)

Rick Steve: Luther’s Germany

On Reformation Weekend

As a movement that began to reform the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation is one of the most influential events in human history. Reformers as Charles Wesley, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and others led the way to changes that have anchored roots in many churches today. Yet one’s perspective continues to drive understanding of the times; for instance did the Church of England leave the Roman Catholics or did they get kicked out?

Although many of the issues that drove the reformers and society have been resolved, issues today still divide denominations – both within and between. As many Christians strive to find common ground as opposed to emphasizing differences, modern-day riffs still exist and churches seemingly adjust to societal response. For example, just this week the Roman Catholics placed a new welcome for Anglicans. Of course the driving force behind this action is subject to debate.

This weekend the sounds of Luther’s A Mighty Fortress will fill many churches. Our Lutheran church is no different as our handbells will have a role. Since YouTube doesn’t have the version we’re playing, handbell enthusiasts will have to listen to this audio.

Meanwhile, here’s an energetic version of A Mighty Fortress from the St. Olaf College Handbell Choir.