Martin Luther and a Life Changing Moment
On the day we now know as Halloween, Martin Luther challenged the Catholic church with his 95 Theses. It started with an unexpected event in his own life.
Most of us are caught up in the hustle-bustle of daily living and rightly so. We are anxiously engaged in the daily pursuit of health, wealth, and happiness. During our sojourn there are moments when quite unexpectedly we are confronted with a life changing event. The experience will change the choices we make for the rest of our lives. The life-changing experience could be as simple as a poignant moment derived from watching a movie, reading a novel, perusing the Holy Scriptures or listening to an inspired speaker that jolts us into an introspective search for the meaning of our lives. It may be the awareness of a life threatening personal illness or the sudden passing away of a dear one. It may be as dramatic as a near death experience thrust upon us by a natural disaster such as a tornado, an earthquake or even a bolt of lightning.
Such an event happened to Martin Luther, the great Protestant Reformer. After receiving his master’s degree at the age of twenty-two, he was bound for law school. This was to please his father. However on the 2nd of July 1505, Martin Luther had a life-changing experience. He was riding his horse towards the Law University when a bolt of lightning nearly took his life. In an instant Martin returned home and reported to his father that he was terrified of death and the final judgment. In proclaiming that he was not prepared to meet God, Martin cried out, “Help! Saint Anna, I will become a monk.”
Martin Luther entered a monastery and devoted himself totally to a quest to discover what it was that God wanted from him in order that he might return and abide with God in eternity. Martin Luther focused on a comprehensive study of the Bible. From dawn until dusk Martin immersed himself in a determined quest to understand the life and message of Jesus as found in the New Testament. Martin poured over every word of the Old Testament looking for insight and what it was that God wanted from Martin Luther. Eventually he received a Doctor of Theology degree and was called to teach at the University of Wittenberg. Appropriately his title was “Doctor in Bible.” Students flocked to his classes from all over Europe. Martin Luther was unmatched as a Bible scholar. He would spend the rest of his career at Wittenberg deeply immersed in teaching the scriptures.
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