Reformed but Always Reforming

An admirer asked Longfellow how he sustained his high level of vigor and productivity.

Answering, he turned to an apple tree standing in full view, its blossoms beautiful and fragrant. “That apple tree is very old,” said Longfellow, “but I never saw prettier blossoms upon it. I’ve noticed that the tree grows a little new wood each year, and out of the new wood those blossoms come. Like the apple tree I try to grow a little new wood every year, out of which my heart blossoms.”

Christ plainly stated that “new wine must be put into new wineskins” (Matthew 9:17).

R. T. Kendall revealed, “What is forgotten is a motto of the great Reformation under Luther and Calvin: the Church reformed but always reforming.

What often happens to a church is that it is reformed – period!

Because we become opposed to change and will not accept the new and different, the Church becomes staid, cold, lifeless and (surprise, surprise) largely ineffective. Jonathan Edwards taught us that it is the task of every generation to discover in which direction the sovereign Redeemer is moving, and then move in that direction.”

In an old church at Valsbol, the men have for centuries had an strange habit. They go to the altar to receive the sacrament, and on returning each bows, in the direction of the women, standing always on the same spot.

Why they followed this practice no one knew until, when cleaning one of the walls, a picture of the Virgin Mary was discovered. It was covered by whitewash four centuries before, and the worshippers had continued to bow toward the picture long after everyone had forgotten it existed.

Are we bowing in apparent reverence before some religious practices of our youth or of other ages, the significance of which we have long forgotten?

“It is never too late, in fiction or in life, to revise” Nancy Thayer.

 Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center

© 2013 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.