Inasmuch as Protestant (and especially Lutheran) congregations around the world are preparing for Reformation Sunday this weekend, accordingly let us mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany, with a coffee-and-fellowship hour buffet of indulgences.
The Reformation era was marked by Imperial Diets of all sorts that resulted in excommunications, schisms and wars. Today, our diets are marked by gluten sensitivity, veganism and nut allergies, which can be equally divisive and certainly just as deadly. The following possibilities invite partakers to take up their forks and sin boldly.
What does this mean?
We should respect and love God and God’s good creation that we may not despise delicious foods, for as Martin Luther himself wrote in a letter to Jerome Weller in July of 1530:
“Be strong and of good courage, and by all means throw aside these monstrous thoughts. Whenever the devil vexes you with these thoughts, seek the company of others, or drink more, joke more, make nonsense, or engage in some other form of merriment. Sometimes one must drink more, joke, make nonsense, and even commit some sin in defiance and contempt of the devil in order not to give him an opportunity to make us scrupulous about trifles.”
Jason DeRose is NPR’s Western Bureau chief; he has a master’s in divinity and edits NPR’s religion coverage, among other things. He’s based in Culver City, Calif.