Reformation Heritage Lecture: Remaking the World with Law and Gospel
Tuesday, February 7, was the Reformation Heritage Lecture. The speaker was Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson, who has written two books and in many journal articles about the Christian faith. That night Dr. Hinlicky Wilson decided to talk about Martin Luther’s love for the Law and Gospel of the Bible, and her unique hobby of finding wrong views of the Law and Gospel. She talked about the wrong views about the Law and Gospel such as, the Gospel gets rid of the Law. She said that the Law is not a list rules we have to follow, but instead a way God wants us to live; that the Gospel is not a do whatever you want card because of grace. She then went on to describe that Jesus is Gospel through the gift that He is to us, but also an example because of how He lives according to God’s Word or Law. We are to be like Jesus, following the Law, but also asking for forgiveness when we need to, which is always. We need to have a balance of both Law and Gospel in our lives.
This integrates into the this semester’s theme of hearing the voices of the marginalized. One way Jesus is an example is that He cares and loves those who are not loved or who are discriminated against in the world. Race is becoming a big issue in this country again, and African Americans feel that they are not being heard. Jesus listened to those who were discriminated against, like the prostitutes and tax collectors. We, who are white, should then follow Jesus’ example and listen to them, hearing their concerns for they are being marginalized. God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, tells we should not murder. In Matthew 5, Jesus talks about murder as lack of unity among people. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” The lack in unity is what racism can be described as. This then applies to the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and if we mistreat people we are breaking that commandment, but also the first. That commandment is loving the Lord with all heart and soul. Today, we are in a world where Jesus would have been turned away because of his race and where he came from. We are not loving those who are “different” and therefore not loving Jesus.
This lecture has affected me in different ways by showing me news ways of viewing the Law and Gospel. It gave me a new light with following Christ’s example more. Because of my past I have had a hard time loving and forgiving those who have hurt me in my past. I have always had a big resentment towards those who really hurt me, but then after the lecture it showed me that I was truly not following Christ’s example. Christ loved those who persecuted Him, and He forgave them. This gave me a new light that no matter what I should still love those who hurt me. It doesn’t mean I have to like them, but I still need to love them for they are people too. That also means I need to forgive them, because they may have not have known how bad they were hurting me.