The name “Lutheran” comes from a time of upheaval in the Christian church in the 1500’s. A monk by the name of Martin Luther found himself at odds with the heavy handed and fear driven teachings of the church. Studying the Bible one day he came upon Ephesians 2:4-10, and read “by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”. He was changed by these words, and as he spoke of them to others, they were changed, too. Although they did not give themselves this name, those who shared this change were called “Lutherans”.
Lutherans in our day are people who continue to be changed by the saving grace of God. As Martin Luther did, we carefully study the Bible so that it might continually shape and mold who we are. We seek to live out this change through our lives in the world, being little Christ’s (that is what Christian literally means) to our neighbor. We place our hopes in the transformational promise of God that took hold of us in the waters of Baptism, and in that same promise in which he continues to hold us as Jesus unites himself with us, body and blood, in the bread and wine of Holy Communion.
When it comes to our relationship with God, Lutherans trust in God’s grace (God’s unmerited love for us). We do not put our trust in how much we have done, how good we have been, or how many times we have gotten it right. It seems to us that these things are the swirling sands that Jesus says on which we should not build our house. Jesus and his promise of forgiveness are the solid rock on which we stand.