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"If I told you once I told you a thousand times," is a phrase that an exasperated parent might say to a child. That's how it feels sometimes doesn't it? Children need to be told things over and over again for it to really stick in their minds. Adults can be that way as well. We have tendencies to not always listen as well as we should and so sometimes it takes more than once for us to truly hear something. We also have tendencies to forget. We might have heard something, we might have listened well, but then for one reason or another we forget and need to be reminded. Other times a person may just desire to not hear or ignore what is said so that they can do it their own way. There may be a variety of causes but the truth of the matter is that as flawed human beings we often need to hear something numerous times for it truly to be a part of us.

As of the end of this month it will be 501 years since Dr. Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses on the Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany. That event sparked the Reformation of the Christian Church. Ever since that time year after year we have celebrated the great truths that were made known in the Reformation. Chiefly we celebrate the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith in Jesus.

We sinners are unable to save ourselves. Regardless of how much information we may remember, regardless of the good works and deeds we accomplish, deep down we are still flawed sinful human beings. We cannot save ourselves. The good news is that we are saved by what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. You may have heard these verses many times before but listen again to these words of God as He desires to make it so clear to you how we are saved:

"For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law." Romans 3:28

"Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified." Galatians 2:16

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:8-10

Those may be familiar verses for many of us but it is important that we hear them more than once. It is important that we teach these verses of Holy Scripture to children. They need to hear the truth of God's grace and salvation through faith in Jesus alone not just once but many times. It is important that we heed the words of Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children." It is vital that we engage in repeating the familiar truths of salivation to children in Sunday Worship, Wiggling Worship, Sunday school, VBS, through RoseBuds and many other ways. It is also vitally important that we regularly hear this same good news applied to us for this is the good news of salvation for us. So let's hear and let's tell this good news of the Reformation not just once, not just 501 times, but over and over again.

Pastor Schoenfeld