The Assembly will gather around the central theme, Liberated by God’s Grace. This theme also frames the LWF’s approach to the 500th anniversary of Lutheran Reformation in 2017. It articulates two pivotal insights of Lutheran theology: the prevalence of God’s grace when it comes to justification, and the gift of freedom that results from God’s transformative action.
Liberated by God’s Grace is the overarching theological key, highlighting the concept of the freedom of the Christian which was so important to Martin Luther and is relevant at all times.
These words go to the heart of Jesus' gospel and to the soul of the Lutheran Reformation. They are linked to Luther’s insight that helped trigger the Reformation – that Christians attain salvation only by the grace of God. We call this justification by faith alone.
The theme tells us that the gracious love of God, through the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, opens up opportunities for us as faithful Christians to reach out as healers and as people able to reconcile to a world torn apart by strife and inequality.
So, we are liberated by God’s grace. But from what? For what? Your response will reflect the reality of life where you live, but we believe we are called to be responsible citizens in God’s world and good steward’s of God’s creation. We are freed by the grace of God to engage in this Christian ministry.
Taking the central theme as the starting point, the Assembly will structure its work around three sub-themes:
The threefold “not for sale” captures a key insight that triggered Luther’s public opposition to ecclesial practices of his time. Unbeknownst even to Luther himself, his powerful enunciation of protest – that grace is a gift and not a good that can be exchanged for money – paved the way for the emergence of the Reformation movement.
By focusing on the three sub-themes the Assembly will offer a space to critically reflect on the attempts to subjugate, control and trade what ultimately cannot be defined as commodities - salvation, human beings, creation - and should therefore never be subjected to trade or monetarisation. Hence, the emphasis will be on a contemporary reflection and articulation of the core insight that the Reformation offers to the world today.
Three sub-themes address the contextual challenges the Christian community faces in today’s world. They help to identify certain concepts, attitudes and global policies that people “liberated by God’s grace” reject since they are incompatible with the gospel.