Dear Friends in Christ,
“but all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40)
On June 25, 1530, the Augsburg Confession was presented to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, at an Imperial Diet, in the city of Augsburg. Emperor Charles V invited the Reformers to Augsburg to present a summary of the Lutheran faith. Philip Melanchthon and Justus Jonas were joined by a small contingent of theologians and Protestant princes. Martin Luther, who was under imperial ban, did not attend the meeting.
The presentation of the Augsburg Confession was originally scheduled for June 24, but the two sides could not work out the details of the presentation. The Protestant princes pushed for a public reading. Those leading the Imperial Diet refused the princes’ demand. A compromise was reached later in the evening. There would be a reading of the Augsburg Confession, though it would not be held in Augsburg’s spacious city hall, but in a small chapel in the Bishop’s palace. The public was not permitted to attend.
On June 25, 1530, the Augsburg Confession was read aloud in the German language before the Emperor, the Protestant princes, and the Imperial Diet. The reading lasted over 2 hours. At the end of the reading, the Reformers presented Charles V, with the German and the Latin copy of the Augsburg Confession. Both copies have been lost to history.
The Augsburg Confession is an important historical work and a confessional document that continues to guide our ecclesiology. When you consider your summer reading list, I would encourage you to add the Book of Concord and read through the Augsburg Confession. And when you finish reading through one (or more) of our confessional documents, reward yourself by reading the Amor Towles novel, A Gentleman in Moscow. It’s a good one!