Why bother with Reformation?

John 8:31-36

There was a time when Reformation Sunday provided the occasion for Protestants to get together and say bad things about Catholics. Reformation services were conclaves of smug pronouncements. We had the truth and they did not. They felt the same way about us.

When my mother was married in 1944, her best friend watched from the doorway of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in St. Louis. A Roman Catholic, she would not participate in the wedding service. Accepting the invitation to be maid of honor was out of the question. Her priest forbade her.

Lutherans returned the favor. I grew up thinking a certain inedible part of the chicken's anatomy was called the pope's nose. The plate of fried chicken was passed around the table. From among the thighs, drumsticks and breast pieces, my Uncle John speared the back and waved it in my direction. Pointing to the fatty protrusion that stuck out from one end, he asked, "Do you want the pope's nose? "


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