Day 03 - Tue May 31
Tuesday, May 31st, after loading up the bus to depart, we sang together (which is a favorite part of the day for me) the hymn, "Sing Praises to God Whom Reigns" by Johann Jakob Schütz. The hymn reminds me of the Five Solas that Martin Luther professed; Sola Deo Gloria, Sola Scriptura, Sola Fida, Sola Gratia, and Sola Christus.
Just like the musicians that we learned about yesterday honored God in their music scores; our daily roles and vocations are a response to the gift of salvation. As we continued to travel to the first of two important cities in the life and death of Martin Luther, Dr. Donna Thoennes shared from a biography about Martin Luther’s wife That he fondly call “Katie my Rib”. Katie was a leading example and agent of change in the role of women in ministry. She reminded me of Proverbs 31. She took care of family and husband displaying hospitality and care for their children and university students.
After an hour drive we arrived at the quaint town of Eisleben. We started the tour at the house where Martin Luther’s death occurred. The model rooms featured the real burial cloth covering a replica casket and an example of the type of bedroom. Next tour was at his birth house, and then St. Peter and Paul Church with an inground baptismal. I enjoyed seeing the depiction the town model and the displays of artwork at all the sites.
Another drive took us to Erfurt, where Martin Luther began as an Augustine Monk. Here Luther was reminded daily that he was a sinner and as tradition was to confess his sins during chapel. It was fitting to sing "Amazing Grace" in the chapel. While leaving we encountered a thunderstorm leaving the church. We were reminded of the experience Martin Luther had that brought him to pray and pledge for safety. What an incredible day of learning about God’s providence in Martin Luther’s life and reflecting on what we believe. It is humbling to think about how merciful and good God is to us. To conclude, another song comes to mind:
Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my pressing load.
Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.
Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease my weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, And set my spirit free.
Doreen and Mike Richwine