We walked the cobble stone path as my guide turned and said to me, Martin Luther walked this very path hundreds of years ago.We turned a corner and came to a bank building with a special plague hanging on the wall. Written in German it identified this location as the place where Martin Luther stayed for ten days in 1521. The buildings had been destroyed centuries earlier.
We continued walking the narrow cobble stone paths for several blocks when we stepped into an open court with beautiful trees and grass. On my right was an enormous church building called the dome by local people. The Catholic house of worship had been built by the Bishop of Worms in the eleventh century. The outside had been adorned with statues, figurines and intricate carvings that was stunning to review.
We stepped through a huge door and found ourselves in the sanctuary. The size alone was breathtaking. It was over five stories tall and over nine hundred feet from one end to the other. Sunlight pierced the shadows from several stories up and lit up the altar in a spectacular fashion. It felt like the hand of God was reaching inside through the power of the sun. It was massive, impressive and daunting.
All of a sudden my heart was gripped with the reality of the pressure that Martin Luther had faced at the meeting in Worms. He had come to one of the most impressive locations in all of Europe to face the King, Princes and representatives of the Pope.
This event was no longer a historical speed bump in the time line of church history. It became a David and Goliath moment from the past. This simple monk stood before the grandeur, power and pressure of the world to declare his heart captive to the Word of God.
Leadership demanded that Luther refute all of his writings. He had questioned church practices and traditions that had become so deeply entrenched over fifteen centuries. This incensed church and government leaders who felt this heretic would split the world apart.
This moment in history is called the reformation. Martin Luther’s stand would spark the birth of all the Protestant churches we know today. This week has helped me better understand the pressure created by such a seismic spiritual event.
The last five days have been a simple reminder of the profound implications of ministering in the lives of others. This has been a whirlwind of speaking, teaching, listening, asking questions and counseling. I have learned so much from the experience.
I have reconnected with old friend, established new friends and had my heart transported back over five hundred years.
I must say that I marvel at the work of God! It is amazing how he uses simple people to accomplish His Divine Conspiracy.