The audio recording begins after the offertory and prayer of thanksgiving in the order of worship available in the downlaods section.
Explanation of The Reformation Service:
Every year we set aside a Sunday worship service to reflect upon the 16th century Protestant Reformation.
Why would we observe the Reformation? The answer is, our church and denomination are heirs to that great movement where God worked through saints like Jon Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox, to name a few, to “spark a fire” that reformed the true church more and more to the Scriptures; and that reform continues even in our day. One motto of the Reformation was true then as it is now, “We are reformed and always to be reforming to the Word of God.”
That great movement was challenged by those who opposed such reform to a right understanding of the truths of the Word of God; and the enemies of truth fought back then; and the enemies of the truth of God’s Word fight back today. The reformers faced spiritual warfare.
One example of the spiritual battle is from the life of the reformer, Martin Luther. He stood firm at the Diet of Worms in 1521 where the Holy Roman Empire sought to force him to recant of his doctrinal teaching that the established church found heretical. Luther responded:
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.
The Reformation is understood simply as a rediscovery of the Gospel message of the Bible. And that message is summarized in the “Five Solas” of the Reformation. Sinners are brought into a right relationship with God - redeemed or saved:
According to the Scriptures Alone,
By Grace Alone,
Through Faith Alone,
In Christ Alone,
And for the Glory of God Alone.
One of the hymns Luther wrote has become known as a great hymn of the Reformation, “A Mighty fortress is our God.”
Our liturgy today follows the four stanzas of this hymn. It is a hymn about the reality of the spiritual battle and God enabling his people to stand firm.