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At the end of October this year we will be remembering the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Europe. 31 October 1517 was the day on which Martin Luther nailed up his topics (primarily on the matter of indulgencies) for debate. This seemingly small event was a spark that set a flame alight that spread, not only throughout Germany, but throughout Europe. This small event in the German town of Wittenberg may have been momentous and may have been set against the backdrop of gross ignorance and superstition in the Church at that time but even this did not come out of nowhere. Prior to Luther was a man called John Huss of Bohemia (in what is now called the Czech Republic). Just about 100 years before Luther nailed up his 95 thesis; John Huss was burnt for his desire to purify the church along biblical lines - a fact not lost on Luther's supporters when he determined to answer the call to give an account of himself at Worms. John Huss himself had been influenced by the writings of an Englishman called John Wycliffe. Wycliffe, like Luther, suffered the anger and indignation of the Roman church but also like Luther lived out his days to a natural death. However such was the hatred of the church against John Wycliffe that many years after his death it was ordered that his bones be dug up and burnt and the ashes scattered in the river Swift so that no trace of him remained. But as has been noted: "the little river conveyed Wycliffe's remains into the Avon, Avon into the Severn, Severn into the narrow seas and they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine which is now dispensed the world over". These men, Luther, Huss and Wycliffe together with so many others were hated by the religious leaders of their day. In our days of ease and comfort, when large swaths of the church seem bent on pandering to the latest thing the World promotes, we should not forget the words of our Lord Jesus: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service (John 16:2).