Reformation—a poignant word that stirs us. For some, it brings to mind controversies surrounding reformers like Martin Luther or Zwingli. Others think of pet issues in the church: “Maybe the church will finally do something about . . . ”
What should the word Reformation evoke? The word literally means “again formed.” We find the first reference to “form” in the Bible in Genesis 2:7: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (NASB). God does the forming. That work of forming is ongoing. In the book of Revelation, one senses the excitement of our God when He says, “ ‘I am making all things new’ ” (Rev. 21:5, NASB).
Do we want everything to be new? Do we want to be made new ourselves? Are we willing to say with the prophet Isaiah, “O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are the potter” (Isa. 64:8, NKJV)?
Reformation is God’s work. It’s true that “God calls upon those who are willing to be controlled by the Holy Spirit to lead out in a work of thorough reformation.”* But we must always remember that God wants that work of reformation to begin with us.
* Ellen G. White, The General Conference Bulletin, May 29, 1913, 34.