The idea of reformation probably conjures up a vision of a young monk nailing his 95 points concerning his issues with the institutional church to a large wooden door. Maybe it makes you think of a theology student in Geneva pouring over his sermon notes next to his Greek New Testament. You may even think of a young priest traveling from town to town introducing people to his English translation of the Latin Vulgate. Some may think of an king who wanted to have his marriage annulled by the Pope, only to be rejected – so he decided to form his own church on his island.
Which of these was a reformation? Was anyone reformed, or was it just rebellion? Certainly the church was reformed through these, and many other events, but humans have a way of manipulating our reformation into the image we want. We don’t necessarily seek to be reformed into the image of Christ.
What these individuals contributed to the universal Church was significant, and each one was used by Christ to build His Church. Some of the best attributes of the reformation were in spite of their efforts rather than being effected by them. Reformation is certainly an important word in relation to the institution of the Church.
How often should a church be reformed? What about the leadership of a church? And how often should our thinking, rituals, and traditions be reformed? Does it start with the institution or with the individual?
I wonder how many statements Jesus is nailing to the door of our hearts? Or, is He just knocking?
Jesus doesn’t nail statements to the doors or the windows of our souls – until we have rejected the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There is certainly a point when we have patently rejected the conviction of the Holy Spirit that the word “Ichabod” is nailed to the door of the person’s heart. But, in your case, Jesus stands at the door of your heart – knocking vs. nailing. If we would just open the door, then He promises, (it isn’t a threat), to come in and be with us.
This is the reformation of the human soul. It isn’t done through nailing statements of rebuke, but through relationship and food. Reformation of our lives is done through submission and obedience to the gentle touch of the Holy Spirit. What may work for institutions, doesn’t always work on the human heart. But Jesus knows that. Do you?
What is something the Holy Spirit is calling out of you? What is Jesus saying to you? How are you eating with Jesus? What does it mean when Jesus says, “Where two or more are gathered in My Name, there I will be with them?” Why should we eat and drink in remembrance of Him? Have you opened your heart to the truth of His word?
Answer the door! Let Him in! Surrender to His presence! Be reformed!