Martin Luther – 500 Year Anniversary of the Reformation Exhibition

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Five hundred years ago this year, German theology professor Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on to the door of the Wittenburg Church in Germany, sparking a revolution in the Christian religion known as The Reformation. His rash action is being celebrated this year in 500th Anniversary celebrations by Protestant Christians around the world, including a Martin Luther Exhibition – presented by the Lutheran Church in South Africa – at Pietemaritzburg’s Royal Show.

Who Was Martin Luther?

Dr Martin Luther was a remarkable man, who made his mark in uniting and developing the German language, composing hymns and making the Bible available to the man in the street thanks to the Guthenberg Press.

You are invited to view a unique exhibition in celebration of the 500 Year Anniversary of the Reformation, and in memory of Dr Martin Luther, co-ordinated by Pastor Dr Detlev Tönsing and Prof Ernst Uken.

The mobile Martin Luther Exhibit, commemorating his contribution to humankind, will start in Pietermaritzburg, where neighbouring Lutheran Churches will act as hosts offering informative lectures, seven rolling documentary films, numerous CDs and some 30 supportive posters. Thereafter the mobile exhibition will travel throughout KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Interesting lectures will be held each day of the exhibition at the Royal Show by local Lutheran pastors, at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 respectively. The topics are as follows:

• Monday: Reformation and Luther – Pr Chris Johannes
• Tuesday: Luther the Reformer – Pr Udo Lütge
• Wednesday: Luther the Musician – Pr Victor Röhrs
• Thursday; Luther’s Life – Pr Georg Scriba.

Trees from South Africa in the Lutheran Garden

The centre of attraction of 2017’s 500 Year Anniversary celebrations in Germany is the ‘Luther Garden’ in Wittenberg, arranged in the shape of a very large cake. In the centre is the circular Luther Rose shown above with its slogan, ‘Das Christenherz auf Rosen geht, wenn’s mitten unterm Kreuze steht’, literally translated into English as ‘The heart of a Christian walks on roses, even when it stands directly under the cross’.

The Luther Rose is surrounded by seven cake-like sections, each flowerbed representing a continent, filled with its own indigenous trees. There are 500 trees in total – one for each year of reformation. The trees from South Africa were planted by South Africa’s respective Lutheran bishops. The Elcsa (N-T) Bishop Horst Müller planted tree number 160, next to that planted by Bishop Nils Rohwer of the Cape Church.

Come along and learn about one of history’s most pivotal moments, and its relevance to us today.

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