Reformation Sunday - October 29

Sunday, October 29, 2023 10:15 AM

Reformation Sunday, Oct. 29

The Protestant Reformation became an enduring reality on Oct. 31st, 1517 (506 years ago). On that date, Catholic Priest, Martin Luther, posted his protesting paper, “The 95 Theses,” on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg in Germany.

The Reformation focused on 5 basic truths: 1) It is by Grace Alone, 2) received by Faith Alone, 3) placed in Christ Alone, 4) perfectly proclaimed in Scripture Alone, 5) that we are saved (from sin and death and reconciled to God) so that we may bring God the Glory Alone.

Zion Evangelical Church traces its heritage to this Reformation. This year (Oct. 29th Sunday Reformation Service), I’ll focus on Faith Alone. Join us, and allow God’s Word and Spirit to grow and strengthen your Faith. Also, look over this month’s song, “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.”

May the Blessings of a living and enduring Faith in Jesus Christ be yours;

Pastor Darrell


“My Faith Looks Up to Thee” by Ray Palmer (1832)

My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior Divine;

Now hear me while I pray; Take all my guilt away;

Oh, let me from this day, Be wholly Thine.

May Thy rich grace impart Strength to my fainting heart, My zeal inspire;

As Thou hast died for me, Oh, may my love to Thee,

Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire.


While life’s dark maze I tread, And griefs around me spread, Be Thou my Guide;

Bid darkness turn to day, Wipe sorrow’s tears away,

Nor let me ever stray From Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream, When death’s cold sullen stream, Shall o’er me roll,

Blest Savior, then in love, Fear and distrust remove;

O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

The following is taken from the weblink:

This “hymn which encourages our faith to look up to Jesus, the author and finisher of that faith. … The text was written by Ray Palmer. … he was a member of the Park St. Congregational Church. Later, he decided to become a minister.

One evening during the fall while studying and translating some German poetry, Palmer penned this poem. … It was never intended for publication but for private devotion. However, a couple of years later, he made a return visit to Boston and ran into his old friend from Park St. Congregational Church, composer Lowell Mason (1792-1872). Mason was publishing a hymnbook and asked Palmer to give him something for it. Palmer pulled out the notebook and showed Mason the verses that he had already set down. The two men stepped into a nearby drug store so that Mason could jot down a copy. That very night, Mason composed the tune (Olivet).

Mason was so excited about it that when he saw Palmer again a couple of days later, he said, ‘Mr. Palmer, you may live many years and do many good things, but I think you will be best known to posterity as the author of ‘My Faith Looks Up To Thee.’’ Mason was right about Palmer. He is best known today as the author of this much-sung hymn.

… It is well remembered that when writing the last line, ‘a ransomed soul,’ the thought that the whole work of redemption and salvation was involved in those words, and suggested the theme of eternal redemption, moved the writer to a degree of emotion that brought abundant tears.

As we walk in this life, we should always turn in our hearts to Jesus and say, ‘My Faith Looks Up To Thee.’” Indeed, this hymn lifts up the basic Protestant truth of Faith Alone. Not simply of faith in faith, but faith in Jesus Christ!