The Estonian Evengelical Lutheran Church
« Back to news

Faith and hope in an apple tree – explanation of the logo of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

ref500_logo_en_tsitaadiga-1024x739The bright-coloured logo  of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – a green apple tree bearing beautiful fruits – was inspired by a desire to celebrate the coming anniversary not only as an important event for the Lutheran church but in an ecumenical manner, with our sisters and brothers from other churches.

The apple tree represents our intention to think and talk about the Reformation not only as a past event but as something that touches every one of us now and in the future as well. In other words, the emphasis of the jubilee year should be on the aspects that unify us as Christians, that we can rejoice in together, for which we can be grateful together and that we would like to share with everyone – the living faith and hope that we have in Jesus Christ.[1]

The famous saying, attributed to Martin Luther, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree” is part of the Lutheran heritage but these are also words that should and probably do have a place in the heart of every Christian. It is a very brief and meaningful summary of the Christian outlook, freedom in faith: we are liberated through God’s grace to trust in God and live in a loving and caring relationship with our neighbours and the creation.

This saying is meaningful to everyone who understand the size of the responsibility of human beings for their neighbours and for the world; who sees that the life, which manifests itself in ourselves, in other people and the surrounding world in very diverse and always unique ways, is a gift given to us to be enjoyed and rejoiced in but also to be protected and shared with those who are here now and those who come after us.

As long as there is life, as long as there is world, we are called to believe and hope, to love and rejoice, to care for and be responsible – before God for our neighbour and the creation.

 

***

Fruit-bearing apple tree (the logo as a whole) – faith in the loving God who has enabled life to be victorious over death; life in faith – life in gratitude and trust towards God, love towards our neighbours and the creation; the joy and courage to live and be open. However, it would also be perfectly appropriate when somebody is reminded of the tree in the Garden of Eden. The trunk and branches of the tree form a cross, which should remind us that the path back to God, back to a trusting relationship with Him is opened to us in Christ’s cross.

The cross formed of the trunk and branches – Jesus Christ, the foundation and focus of Christian faith.

The circle marking the tree crown – the boundary of the temporal world, the boundary between life and death, the ‘world going to pieces’ as Luther would say.

The leaves extending beyond the circle – Christian faith and hope that transcends the boundary of the temporal world, the boundary of death; trust in God.

Apples – the fruits of living faith (a human response to God’s love: loving and caring for our neighbour and the creation); the ‘fruits’ of the Reformation (the impact on social development, culture, education, etc); the five centuries of the Reformation.

____________

[1] „The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is celebrated all over the world. The Estonian people celebrate it as a religious festival, focusing on the gospel message of human liberation and consolation, encouragement and rejoicing. In a theological interpretation, the Reformation is primarily a commitment of the church to Jesus Christ. As such, the significance of the Reformation is not limited to the events of the 16th century nor even only to evangelical churches. As commitment to Christ, the Reformation has ecumenical significance, which is relevant for all Christians. It is the revival and renewal of the church, springing from the foundation and centre of the church. As the centre of the anniversary of the Reformation is the truth of the gospel, or the Triune God, we can hope that churches and Christians are guided closer to each other, that we are inspired to joint witness and service, and that the gospel will be increasingly heard and experienced among Estonian people.“  (The concept of the celebration of the anniversaries in 2017 and 2018 „Vabaduse teetähised 2017-2018“ (Landmarks of Freedom 2017-2018):  http://www.eelk.ee/et/vabaduse-teetahised/)

Print