A short devotional I wrote to be published in a prayer booklet for our District Assembly in Portland in May 2017 –
This year is quite the remarkable year as October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the date that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517 and began the Protestant Reformation which radically transformed the trajectory of Christianity. Yet 100 years before Luther, the original reformer, John Hus (1369 – 1415), was laying the foundation which influenced Reformers to come such as Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. He openly spoke against abuses in the church including the practice of indulgences and condemning clergy who were corrupt. At the Council of Constance, Hus was ordered by the church to renounce his writings, but he refused to do so where his teachings were in line with Scripture. Having been declared a heretic, John Hus was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. As the flames intensified, he cried, “Lord Jesus, it is for Thee that I patiently endure this cruel death. I pray Thee to have mercy on my enemies.” Martin Luther would later say of Hus, “I could not understand for what cause they had burnt so great a man, who explained the Scriptures with so much gravity and skill.”
Standing on Biblical conviction is never easy and will prove to be costly. Paul says to Timothy, “Join with me in suffering” (II Tim 2:3) and “If we endure, we will also reign with [Christ]” (II Tim 2:12).
Thank you Lord, for the faithful endurance of those who have come before us!