Reformation 500

RSS By: Metropolitan New York Synod

Marking the commemoration of Reformation is an exciting time for us as Lutherans. As we all prepare, this blog will offer resources, tips, and background on a number of issues. 

Go on a Luther pilgrimage right here in town!

Jan 04, 2017

by the Rev. Jonathan Linman


It’s now January 2017, and the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary calendar year has begun! You don’t need to travel to Germany to have a Luther and Reformation pilgrimage experience. In fact, you can visit the Morgan Library in Manhattan to witness first hand over 90 artifacts related to Luther and the Reformation.


IMG_2163In my opinion, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Our Bishop’s staff and some other synodical leaders recently had an outing there led by Reformation-era historian, Timothy Wengert. It was nothing short of awe-inspiring and a spiritual experience for me to see: an actual copy of the 95 Theses, versions of the Bible in Luther’s translation, a copy of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, Luther’s German Mass, and various other documents hand-written by Luther himself, revealing his meticulous linguistic artistry. Also on display: a Reformation-era chasuble that Luther the priest may have worn celebrating the Mass, several paintings of Luther and other Reformation greats including wife, Katie, offered by the hand of Lucas Cranach, as well as ceramic household objects from Luther’s home.


For me, it all added up to a visual experience of participation in the communion of Lutheran saints, a poignant experience of and connection to, via historical artifacts, the events that gave birth to our Lutheran tradition. I highly recommend a visit not just to read and study your way through the exhibit, but to meditate and pray your way through the room, giving thanks to God for Luther’s rediscoveries of the radical and freeing grace of God in Christ Jesus.


Thus, here’s one final plug to visit the Luther exhibit at the Morgan. You’ve got until January 22 when the exhibit closes, and most of the items are returned to Germany! I plan to visit one more time!