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Pastor's Column

Discovery and Rediscovery

By: Rev. Joel Ehlert

  The second Monday in October is Columbus Day, a day commemorating the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492.  I'll always remember that date because back in grade school we memorized the little verse: "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue."
Columbus set out to discover a new trade route to India.  He discovered something far more important.  He discovered a whole new world.

  One might say that Columbus lived in an age of discovery.  There were other explorers who sailed the oceans back then.  Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Pacific Ocean and sailed around South America to discover the Philippine Islands.  Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico for Spain.  Captain James Cook, an English naval officer, in the 1700's explored Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, Hawaii, and more.
  It was also an age of discovery or rediscovery in the religious world.  A young priest named Martin Luther in Germany was nine years old when Columbus discovered America.  Luther and a number of other reformers in his day in every country of Europe are credited with rediscovering Bible truths that are precious to many of us today.

  There was John Wyclif in England, John Hus in Bohemia, Savonarola in Italy, John Calvin in France and Switzerland, to name a few.  Though there were many reformers before, during, and after his time, Martin Luther is often credited with being the father of the Protestant Reformation and a major contributor to the ideals of freedom we enjoy in America today.  The famous civil rights activist of recent fame even took his name - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  But the best gift to us from that age of discovery in my estimation is the rediscovery of such precious Bible truths as "Justification by faith."  Millions of lost sinners have found their way to heaven in verses like Ephesians 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."  And of course there is that verse that was a real eye opener for Martin Luther, "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17)

  Talking about explorers and the Bible leads me to sharing this story with you.  Having pretty well explored every corner of this earth, the United States has sent explorers to the moon and there are thoughts about Mars.

  When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon something unique happened even before they crawled out of the lunar module.  While they had a few minutes of radio silence, Buzz Aldrin read verses spoken by Jesus in John's Gospel.

  Think of it.  The words of the ONE who called our world into existence at the beginning of time along with the moon and sun and a hundred billion trillion stars was the ONE whose words were the first spoken on the surface of the moon.  I find that fantastic!

  But what is really thrilling is you don't have to travel to the moon or outer space to make the greatest discovery of your life.  Just pick up your Bible and read the words of your Savior.  Jesus says, "I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  (John 14:6)

  God bless your research my fellow explorers!  



(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News