“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom, ” prays Moses as recorded in Psalm 90:12. Numbers are teachers. ‘Tis the season of counting, so 2017 seems to be. (By the way, we are home now after a 10 1/2 week trip to the midwest. Note postscript below.)
I’d like to consider the number one, after considering a few other numbers. Five hundred years have passed, as of this October 31, since Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted his 95 Theses (statements or declarations) on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This date is usually used as the historical marker for the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, although history reveals birth pangs centuries earlier. For instance, note Peter Waldo and the Waldensians (twelfth century), John Wycliffe called “the Morning Star of the Reformation” (1329-1384), and John Huss who was burned at the stake (1374-1415).
Have you read through the 95 Theses? Quite interesting. I have my father’s copy, and in this post you’ll find three photos I took of it. Ninety-five is an intimidating number. I’d prefer to examine the number one. You know, the number one can be overwhelming all by itself. One. Alone. Sola. Solo. Solus. Whole number. Not a fraction. Not plural. One. The integer.
What is an integer? You see, counting, numbers, and specifically, the number one have much to teach us.
Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
Sola Gratis – Grace Alone
Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Solus Christus – Christ Alone
Soli Deo Gloria – God’s Glory Alone
These phrases provide succinct handles for exploring the teachings born of the Protestant Reformation.
What do these mean? I hope you are or will explore these concepts and consider their impact upon your own faith. My purpose today is just to nudge you in that direction.
To check out these topics online, Gotquestions.org offers a place to start:
One. One foundation, the Word of God. One Savior and one grace driven faith for one glory. One is cardinal, and first is ordinal. The cardinal births my ordinals. May my one Lord have first place in my heart and life (Colossians 1:17-18).
Five hundred integers. Five hundred whole numbers of years since Martin Luther made public what his studies of the Scriptures in private taught him. His 95 statements. Integrity. Wholeness in which what is seen on the outside is congruent with that which is real on the inside. No duplicity or hypocrisy. Such integrity of heart motivated Luther to count the cost and to take his stand.
One is an integer. Integrity.
“My conscience is captive to the Word of God.
. . . to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.
God help me. Amen. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.”
P.S. for those interested:
Our 10 1/2 week trip from Prescott Valley, Arizona to Indiana and Ohio to participate in a few activities, to see family and friends, to spend time with our grandsons . . . was rich! While it was exhausting and sometimes overwhelming, it was worth it, for many relationships were strengthened! As our first big trip with our truck and travel trailer, it was also an education. The last two posts were written while traveling and address our experiences a bit. We took ten days to travel home (Sept. 27 – October 7); the first half was outstanding, but we became pretty sick on the latter end. We were so relieved and thankful to be home!
Home in sunny Arizona! Home on our own, stationary property! We have winterized our “home on wheels” and are now catching up on lots of yard work! Already, Paul has cut down another tree. This is the year of Paul cutting down trees! (He cut down several in Ohio and did lots of trimming.) I’m exciting about the autumn. Talk about numbers! On October 17, we’ll celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary! I mean that cardinally – 37 years have passed — 1, 2, 3. . . — not ordinally, my 37th priority! Ordinally, we are near the top of each other’s lists. Praises to God for 37 years with such a good, good man!
Very interesting post, Karen!…..Thank You!…..Happy wonderful 37th Anniversary to you and Paul!…..Mary and I will be celebrating our 22nd Anniversary on October 28th!…..Glory To God