While Martin Luther remains the special focus of this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, let’s take a moment to give a special nod to Ulrich Zwingli with this guest post from John Bishop for Preaching.com.
After young Zwingli graduated from the University at Berne he was ordained a priest. He served two churches for fourteen years, then was appointed to the Cathedral in Zurich in 1518. His early preaching there was devoted to expounding the words and miracles of Jesus and he came to see a contrast between the Gospel and the rules of the Roman Church.
Not by the path of religious experience as was Luther, but by his studies of the Scriptures and the Fathers, Zwingli was led to revolt against the tyranny of Rome over the human reason and conscience. After 1518 he exercised his gifts as a preacher in the interests of reform.
In 1523, a meeting of clerics and citizens was called in Zurich to consider the sixty-seven theses of Zwingli which proclaimed the Gospel as the only source of truth and denied validity to any practice not specified in the New Testament. The meeting drafted a resolution in his favor and within two years the Latin Mass was replaced by a German Eucharist and the minister faced the congregation across an ordinary table.
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