Burk Parsons begins this month's editorial introduction to Tabletalk magazine with a story. "In the summer of 1999, I was studying the Lutheran Reformation in eastern Germany with a group of fellow American graduate students. After attending a Sunday morning worship service at the Stadtkirche in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther often preached, we made our way south to Halle, the birthplace of G. F. Handel and seventeenth-century German pietism. Just ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, eastern Germany was at the height of its revitalization efforts, the Deutsche Mark was still the currency, and on Sundays most of the small-town shops and restaurants were closed in observance of the Lord’s Day. After I stepped off the train in Halle, I saw signs of protest everywhere I looked. The people of Halle were protesting the opening of a city-sanctioned, public marketplace on the Lord’s Day. What for centuries had been a quiet town square on Sundays was now a busy marketplace, and many of the citizens, whose heritage was being threatened, were protesting."
This story is an important point of reference for the topic of June's issue of Tabletalk. To find out more you will need to read Keeping the Lord's Day.