Ecclesia Reformata, Semper Reformanda
This phrase, handed down from our protestant ancestors, can be translated as “the church reformed and always reforming.” It is a motto of who we are and who we are becoming. It is at the heart of who we are as Reformed Christians.
Contrary to comfortable belief, the church is never meant to be stagnant. It is always meant to be moving, shaping, forming and reforming. Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst, we are consistently and constantly pushed out of our comfort zones and into God’s holy work in the world.
As Presbyterians, we finish our motto with the phrase “according to the Word of God.” Why? Because we believe that the scriptures, the written word of God, are the penultimate revelation of who God is on earth and that Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is the ultimate expression of who God is. It is against these high markers that we consider, judge, and enact everything else.
Something we learn from nature (and scripture) is that if you are not evolving, you are dying. If we do not change, then we come to a standstill and refuse to interact with God’s ever-breathing presence. The reformers never intended their changes to be the permanent new “norm” that we should follow, giving us a new excuse to sit still – but that we should follow in their footsteps and continue the transformation they began.
As we enter into the celebration of Reformation Sunday this weekend, we will be asked to remember not only those great names of the distant past, but also those wonderful people who have been a part of our more recent history here at Highland. We have been handed an important legacy from them as well: being a center for our community and a home for a loving family of faith. Those are certainly things to celebrate as we remember those who have gone before us by continuing their work.
May the Holy Spirit breathe new life into us even as the mottos and battle cries of the reformation ring through our ears – as we remember, may we be evolve ever more into who God wants us to become.