Monday, July 6, marked the 600th anniversary of the martyrdom of John Hus. Hus, the great Bohemian reformer, prophesied in his death that God would raise up another reformer who would carry on what he began, a reference that fits Martin Luther to the letter. (We celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s “Ninety-five Theses” in 2017!)
John Hus, known as “The Morning Star of the Reformation,” desired that the Czech nation and people know redeeming grace through Jesus Christ more than anything else. He preached a clear and popular message in the language of his people, not in the Latin of the church. He taught the Bible very carefully and encouraged people to pursue the truth in Christ in every area of life. He was willing to die for his faith and this is exactly what happened.
On Monday a most remarkable event took place in the city of Opava in memory of John Hus’ martyrdom. The Catholic Church hosted an ecumenical memorial service to honor John Hus, the biblical reformer, in the main city cathedral. The service was a powerful one in which evangelicals stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their Catholic brothers and sisters. The crowd that gathered was encouraged to pursue the truth as John Hus did by laying down his life at the hands of Catholic hierarchy 600 years ago.
When I first read this story I was stunned. Then I rejoiced and realized again that the Spirit is moving in Christian love and unity as we have not seen for centuries, certainly since before the sixteenth century schism in the Western Church. Those who spoke at the cathedral said: “Therefore, faithful Christian, seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, adhere to the truth, defend the truth to death; for the truth will make you free from sin, the devil, the death of the soul, and finally from eternal death.”
Amen. Come blessed Holy Spirit and heal your church with an outpouring of your holy love!