Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 45 (Morning)
Psalm 47, 48 (Evening)
Building God’s Kingdom
Today marks 500 years since Martin Luther first distributed his famous Ninety-five Theses, an act that has come to symbolize the entire Reformation.
Many of today’s readings speak to the building of God’s Kingdom. In Matthew, Jesus tells a parable about a sower who casts seeds on the ground. Although some seeds were eaten or scorched, other grew and “brought forth grain, some a hundredfold.” The Book of Ezra tells of two prophets who led the Jews in the rebuilding of the Temple. Our Psalmist invites us to picture God ruling in the midst of that temple, and which we can use to “tell the next generation that this is God.”
Generations after the Reformation, what sort of kingdom did our Christian forebears build for us? So many of the disputes that seemed important enough to kill over in the 16th Century now seem barely worth getting worked up over. The bloody efforts to establish doctrine by force make up some of the darkest chapters in our church’s history.
Yet the past 500 years has also seen some of the best of the Kingdom of God. Christians have worked to build hospitals and massive relief organizations across the globe. We’ve made slow progress against slavery, discrimination and oppression. Christian groups have worked with those of other traditions to fight hunger and poverty, and to recognize and embrace ethics of equality, tolerance and Christlike love wherever they are found.
Every day we plant our seeds as we build the Kingdom for the generations after us. What could it look like 500 years from now?
Written by Adam Call Roberts
Adam has been a parishioner of St. Paul’s since 2009. He attends with his 4-year-old son, Alex, and his fiancée, Jacey. He works as a journalist for 40/20 News.