Reformation Sunday: A Message from Rev. Daniel de Roche, Delegate of the FSPC Council on the Reformation Anniversary

What do Wibrandis Rosenblatt, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church in 1517, and Reformation Sunday in 2014 all have in common? Daniel de Roche answers this question in the Reformation Sunday message of the Council of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches. Pastors are invited to read this message during their sermons on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

Wibrandis Rosenblatt was one of the first pastor’s wives. And not just once, but three times, having married three reformers in succession: Johannes Oekolampad, Wolfgang Capito, and Martin Bucer. She died on November 1, 1564 in Basel, exactly 450 years ago. This mother of eleven provided valuable support to all three, by welcoming those travelling through the area into her house at a time of great intellectual change in Europe. The devoted mother embodied God’s love for the people – a metaphor that appears in the Bible itself.

Luther’s Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church were of great symbolic value, as he provided the impetus for a fundamental renewal of church and society in the Europe of his time. Reformation Sunday, which was established in Switzerland in 1819, reminds Protestants of the meaning of the Reformation for church and country in the course of the centuries.

As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaches, the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches invites all believers to compose new theses with regard to the Gospel in today’s world. For German and French-speakers the United Protestant Church of France has made a thematic brochure available on the topic (Mit 40 Themen auf dem Weg/40 thèmes pour cheminer), which the FSPC also offers on its Reformation anniversary website: www.ref-500.ch.

From the devoted motherly love of a 16th-century woman to the Theses – following in the footsteps of Luther – and the dedicated confessions of the faithful: God’s love is (again) to be made visible for the 21st century. And so we come full circle.

On behalf of the FSPC Council, Rev. Daniel de Roche, Delegate for the Reformation Anniversary, would like to invite pastors to encourage their parishioners to participate in the drafting of our own theses for the Gospel in today’s world.