Hello, worshipers! It’s Wednesday, and before you don your costume and head out to gather together all of the Halloween goodies, I’ve come in just the nick of time to remind you that today is not just Halloween. More importantly, it’s REFORMATION DAY! It was on this day back in 1517 when a vexed Augustinian monk named Martin Luther sparked what came to be known as the Protestant Reformation by nailing 95 theses against indulgences to the front door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany.
We Christians today reap the benefit of that great reformation not only theologically, but also doxologically. You see, Luther was not only a great reformer, scholar, and pastor, he also was a hymn writer. Therefore, it’s only fitting that today’s WIFW be devoted to his best known hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
Luther wrote the words and music in 1529, and Frederic H. Hedge translated the lyrics from German to English in 1853. This song has been called
the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the greatest period of German history and the
Battle Hymn of the Reformation. It was sung at the funeral of American president Dwight Eisenhower at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, March 1969.
The traditional version is great to sing along with, but I’ve included below a very powerful rendition of it. It starts traditional, and then breaks out into a moving contemporary arrangement. I’m not sure who’s performing it, but it’s awesome!
Worship our almighty God and take heart!