The Summer Worship Series is entitled "Our Great Heritage". The 500th anniversary of the Reformation, 2017, provides a particular opportunity for us to consider what it means to be Lutheran and to teach and to preach it. The topics that we consider through this series are not necessarily unique to Lutheran churches. Each of the Sunday themes is connected to an historical comment. The idea is to tie the history of the Reformation to its practical implications for us today.
Today's theme is Holy Baptism. One of three major works that Luther published in 1520 was “The Babylonian Captivity of the Christian Church”, which accused the Roman Catholic Church of taking people captive and essentially making them slaves to the sacramental system. In this work Luther wrote that there were really only two sacraments that carry God’s promise of forgiveness connected to physical elements: Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. What was missing from the Church’s teaching was that Christians can look to these gifts from God for comfort and assurance.