A heavy, wood and iron door, the side entry into one of many churches in the town. There were at least three or four, plus this church, depending on how you counted chapels. People came and went through the door. It had been there since the stones of the church were laid in order on their foundations, an ordinary door to keep weather out and people in. Like every other door in every other church.
Almost. Because this door was the place where people put messages, especially university faculty and students. Someone wanted to meet to discuss what to do on the Feast of St. Barbara, so they tacked a note onto the door. Someone else proposed a debate on Plato’s archetypes and up went a piece of scrap, nailed to the door. Bits of weather-torn parchment and pieces of paper fluttered or hung on the door, out of date or up and coming. Disgruntled faculty or amused students tore a few down, and the people in town likely ignored most of them. That was University business, unless it was one of the announcements from the prince or the bishop, and those were also posted on other doors and walls for all to see. A few passers-by might have skimmed over the top layer of announcements and lecture proposals out of curiosity if they were so inclined, but they were just notes on a door.
One day, in late October, a faculty member tacked up a list of points for debate. This was not new, although his list was rather long. But many people had heard at least one story about him and his endless questions and whispers about his fears for his own salvation. it was not a large city as cities went, and gossip traveled faster than fast. Another list hung on the door, and people went their way, doing their usual things, perhaps speculating as to why Master Kellner had purchased such a large Indulgence from Father Jan Tetzel, anyway. Maybe that story about his grandfather murdering that cousin had been true after all… Or perhaps, could it be, Kellner himself who needed additional help from the Church’s treasury of merit?
October 31, 1517. Martin Luther nailed a list of 95 arguments, or theses, to the door of the university church in Wittenburg, Saxony. And Western Christendom changed forever.
Only a list, tacked to a door, an ordinary wooden door.