graphic website title banner

Did you know the Augsburg Confession
has its 475th anniversary in June?

Dr. Mary Jane Haemig (WordAlone Board member; Professor, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN.)

May 27, 2005

photo of Professor HaemigWhy not mark the 475th anniversary of the Augsburg Confession in your congregation or WordAlone group? On June 25, 1530, seven Lutheran princes and two municipal governments presented the confession to the emperor at Augsburg. To this day, Lutheran churches around the world are identified by their adherence to the Augsburg Confession. The ELCA Constitution states:

2.05. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it in faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession.

The Augsburg Confession is not only a statement of what we Lutherans believe and confess, it is also our gift to Christians worldwide. Disputes among Lutherans—as well as discussions between Lutherans and other Christians—often center on how we interpret the Augsburg Confession (the "Augustana"). Yet do we study the Augsburg Confession systematically in our congregations? When was the last time you heard of an adult Sunday morning forum studying some articles of the Augsburg Confession? (No, it's not "too tough" for the laity—in fact, all the signers were laity!)

Let's celebrate the courage of those confessors at Augsburg! Let's remember the steadfast faith of those who have joined in the confession through the years since. Find a way to celebrate this on June 25 or on the Sunday following. You may want to use I Timothy 6:11-16 or Matthew 10: 26-33 as scripture texts for that celebration. Better yet, let's start to study and discuss that confession among us today. In this coming year, find ways to encourage that in a variety of settings. In your congregations, organize an adult forum to read and carefully study the Augsburg Confession. In your WordAlone groups, use 10-15 minutes at each meeting to read and briefly reflect on an article of it. A good resource for your study is Leif Grane's book, "The Augsburg Confession: A Commentary."