A sausage anyone…??

500 years ago this Easter, the reformation publicly kicked off in Switzerland. Huldrich Zwingli had for some time been coming to reformation truths similar to Luther, and at times independent of Luther, but it took a good old BBQ to make the reformation official.

Huldrich Zwingli

There were people in Zurich who were printers. They had worked a long and hard week printing copies of the Pauline Epistles, and they were hungry. Yet, it was Lent in 1522. The Roman Catholics had decided that it was a sin to eat meat during Lent. These printers had a meal where they ate sausages! Oh no! You can’t do that…apparently. While Zwingli himself did not partake in eating sausage, when word got out that these printers had, there was trouble in the street.

Zwingli jumped into the defence of these printers. He preached a sermon (22nd March 1522) and then turned that sermon into a tract (16th April 1522) entitled: Concerning Choice and Liberty Respecting Food—Concerning Offence and Vexation—Whether Anyone has Power to Forbid Foods at Certain Times—Opinion of Huldrich Zwingli.

Ultimately, Zwingli argued, if Scripture did not forbid eating meet then the Roman Catholic Church, nor the antichrist pope either for that matter, did not have any right to forbid eating meat during lent. This eventually led the public preaching of the biblical Gospel and the reformation of Switzerland.

Whilst the reformation in Germany and Switzerland were both theological movements, they were both also started over practical and everyday matters: poor Germans spending money they do not have to buy their forgiveness or the hard working needing food.

So, this Easter–while it is not a law to do it–please consider having a BBQ in memory of the Swiss reformation and the coming of the gospel in that country. After all, who needs an excuse to have a BBQ? We are justified by faith alone in Christ our saviour, not in doing or not doing things the church teaches.

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