This Sunday, some of us will be celebrating Reformation Sunday. If you're a Lutheran, you're more likely to be celebrating than most, but all Protestants should celebrate. Of course, if Martin Luther hadn't broken away from the Catholic church, someone else would have. There was a lot of dissent when Luther nailed his theses to that Wittenberg door back in 1517, but Luther gets the credit for starting the Protestant Reformation.
Of course, I come from a long line of Lutherans, so I'm inclined to give him all the credit. I have other Protestant friends who scratch their heads and wonder how, exactly, Lutherans are that different from Catholics.
I spent years of my life in Confirmation class, so I could answer that question. But since this isn't my theology blog, I won't do that here.
Instead, I offer a poem for Reformation Day. It was written years ago, during another annoyingly hot October, where I thought about weather and social change--and this poem emerged. It appears in my chapbook. Enjoy!
The catholic heat holds us
in a tight embrace for what seems an age.
We participate in the sacraments
designed to make us forget the hellishness
of everyday life: afternoons at the pool,
barbecues, beach trips, and for the fortunate few,
a trip to the mountains, a retreat, a pilgrimage.
We pay alms as we must: electric bills,
pool chemicals, cool treats. We pay indulgences
when we can’t avoid it: the air conditioning repair
man, the pool expert who keeps the water pure,
men versed in mysteries we cannot hope to understand.
Finally, the heat breaks. A cold front swoops
down upon us from the north country, a Reformation
bringing with it the promise of other Protestants,
more weather systems to overthrow
the ubiquitous heat, to leave
us breathless with the possibilities of change.
Everyday Poetry at Radio Free Nashville
4 weeks ago