On October 31, 1517, a young Catholic monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This single bold act set off a religious reformation that shook Europe and the world. Luther was later excommunicated by the papacy; a price set on his head.
On October 31, 2016, leading up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint declaration with Pope Francis with the expressed hope for the “wound in the body of Christ to be healed.”
Beyond burying religious division, the declaration states that “what unites the two traditions is greater than that which divides them” (The Guardian, October 31, 2016).
Let’s rewind six thousand years to two of the earliest believers: Cain and Abel. These brothers had much more to unite them than to divide them. Both worshiped the true God. Both built altars according to God’s direction. Both brought sacrifices to worship.
But Cain’s sacrifice was very different than Abel’s. Abel …
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