I really can't imagine living without the word of God. I can't imagine a time when the Scriptures were for monks and priests only. I can't even begin to understand what it was like to have God's word locked in a cupboard touched by only the elite, the trained, the ordained... the few.
I was struck while attempting to comprehend or imagine living in an environment where there were no books. ...no Bible. What might it have been like to rely entirely on the priest to tell you the truth. It is no wonder hundreds of people showed up to put their money in the coffers to avoid purgatory. And, it is no wonder that Martin Luther was so angered by this when it was reported to him by his students. It makes me angry to read about it!
If I know I am sinful ...which I do. And, I feel the guilt and shame of that sin ...which I can. And, someone I trust tells me that I have to pay money to have my sins forgiven. ...and I know NO better... I, too, would have stood in line. I would have taken that pilgrimage, paid that price, or done whatever penance to relieve the guilt.
I would have been right there.
What a blessing that courageous men stood up and said loudly "No!" and "wrong!"! What a blessing that men and women have had the faith and the filling of God to witness to the True Gospel: the saving blood of Jesus Christ alone!
I don't know these men... and women. I wish I did. And, maybe we will have a chat one day.
I don't know them; but tonight I am thankful for their gift to me today.
Polycarp, Blandina, Patrick, Boniface, Francis of Assisi, John Wyclif, John Huss, Martin Luther, William Tyndale, John Calvin, Anne Askew... and the list goes on and on and on.
In the very first paragraph of Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula, it says, "For Christians, this book is a family history. Our sister, Blandina, faced the snapping jaws of wild beasts rather than renouncing Christ. Our brother, Ambrose, gave away his vast wealth to the poor. William Tyndale lived on the run and died at the stake to give us the Bible in English that we might read it for ourselves"
...so that I might read it for myself.
Someone fought for that and died for me. Many, my brothers and sisters, fought for that and died. Many still fight for that! The Scripture not only for monks and priests; but for moms and babes, princess and fools, senators and servants... The Scriptures for me.
Today's school lesson was one amazing story worth reading!