July 2017: Reformation for All
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8
A few months ago I accompanied international church guests to the Reformed Church in Hungary’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In the city of Debrecen, I was crowded into a large tent surrounded by a mixture of Hungarians and internationals, listening to speakers reflect on being reformed. Speakers from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Taiwan, Scotland, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, and Greece spoke about how they see the spirit of the reformation shaping their personal lives and the ministry of their church today.
I, like many Hungarians, have been reflecting on what my reformed identity means now and for my future. As I sat there, bunched up against other internationals, all layered up to fight the cold outside, something clicked – the Reformation is for all of us.
The first speaker was from Scotland and spoke about how the Reformation was about spreading God’s love to everyone, no matter their age, race, or background and how this is still a process that is happening today.
Until recently, I had not given much thought to my reformed identity. The idea that Reformation is for everyone made sense, but it was as if it didn’t truly feel real until that moment – surrounded by people from all around the world, united in our reformed identity, and listening to personal journeys.
The next speaker was from Taiwan and he focused on the idea that each individual can help nurture the common faith and that churches around the world must manifest the unity that we find in Jesus Christ.
The Reformation, historically, has not always brought about unity, but it is my hope that we find ways to connect to and learn from our reformed sisters and brothers around the world. The Reformation makes God’s word accessible to all and strengthens the church for the future. May we strive to make manifest the love of God in the world around us, coming together with people of faith from all walks of life.
Kearstin Bailey serves as a Global Mission Intern with the Reformed Church in Hungary. Her appointment is supported by Week of Compassion, Our Church’s Wider Mission, Disciples Mission Fund and your special gifts.