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  • Fr. Kevin

But doth suffer a sea-change...

Today the Church remembers Katarina von Bora: “A Roman Catholic nun who left the convent, made her way to Wittenberg and in time became the wife of Protestant reformer Martin Luther, Katharina von Bora became the quintessential pastor’s wife and ministered in many ways to her tempestuous husband. Although Luther married her more for practical than for romantic reasons, he grew to love her deeply and to depend upon her emotional stability and good common sense.”1

She died on this day in 1552. I wanted to lift her up to you today because of the momentous change that took place in her life as she tried to follow where God was calling her. Going from being a nun to being Martin Luther’s wife is a big change! You could even call it a sea change.

Have you heard this term before, ‘sea change’? It means a significant transformation – think of it like a paradigm shift. For Katarina to understand God’s call on her life to be a married Reformer as opposed to a Roman Catholic nun is quite a paradigm shift!

It was William Shakespeare who coined the phrase ‘sea change’, in his play The Tempest: In referring to someone who had died he pens the following,

“Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change, into something rich and strange”.

My friends, 2020 has been a sea change for all of us. There has been a great paradigm shift, the size of which we have not yet fully realized.

As we look toward 2021, I encourage you to savor every good thing that returns to our corporate life together over time. Gathering in public. Not having to wear a mask everywhere you go. Feeling safe.

Yet, even as you enjoy these gradual improvements in our common life, know that things won’t be the same as they were. Instead we have been forever changed.

But fear not. As long as we follow where Christ beckons us, no change is too great for us to handle. Rather, we will move from strength to strength and grace to grace. With Christ by our side, there is nothing that we as His Body cannot overcome. Amen.


1 Feldmeth, N. P. (2008). In Pocket Dictionary of Church History: Over 300 Terms Clearly and Concisely Defined (p. 27). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic.

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