'Martin Luther' Tagged Posts

'Martin Luther' Tagged Posts

PLEASANT PLACES

You may recall that at the end of The Small Catechism, Martin Luther tacked on what he called “The Table of Duties.”    For husbands and wives, parents and children, pastors and parishioners, labor and management he set down the Bible passages that apply to each, concluding:    “Let each his lesson learn with care and all the household well shall fare.” Escaping from a church that exalted holy orders and man-made works, Luther emphasized the sacredness of each Christian’s…

SWEET SORROW

Shakespeare’s Juliet says to Romeo:  “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”    English teachers might call that an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.   But life is full of seeming contradictions which are not so contradictory.  We talk about “bitter sweet moments,” or a “deafening silence,” or “an open secret,” or a “tragic comedy.” There is a sweet sorrow laced in the lines of today’s epistle lesson from 2 Corinthians.  Paul says:  “Godly sorrow produces repentance, which leads to salvation, leaving no…

“DELIVER US FROM EVIL”

In the Lord’s Prayer, our Savior has folded our hands for us, as parents do for small children, and taught us to pray:  “Deliver us from evil.” God does. The very fact that you are reading this proves that you are still here, that God has rescued you a thousand times from perils and plagues that never happened.  We give too little thanks for all the times we have been spared simply because those catastrophes, illnesses or accidents never happened.…

“TREASURE IN CLAY JARS”

Speaking of the life-giving gospel he preached, Paul once said, “We hold this treasure in clay jars” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Martin Luther echoed this in the 62nd of his 95 Theses.  He said: “The true treasure of the church is the holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God.” You would think that God would entrust the priceless treasure of the gospel to some exceptionally strong containers.  After all, you don’t keep gold bars on the front porch, or…

“CONTEND FOR THE FAITH”

There is a “call to arms” in the little book of Jude on the far end of the New Testament.  “Contend for the faith!” says the sacred writer.   There is no getting around it.  If you are a faithful Bible reader, then you know that many portions of God’s Book sound a militant tone.  The apostle Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, to take up the sword of the Spirit which is the word of…

THE HIDDEN GOD

“Indeed, You are a God who hides Himself,” wrote the prophet Isaiah (45:15). Martin Luther wrote a great deal about this subject of “the hidden God.” Even when it comes to His beloved children, there are some things which God lets us in on, things which He clearly reveals to us in the Bible.  But there are other things over which God draws a curtain. He hides Himself. Moses put it this way:  “The hidden things belong to the Lord…

THE CONSOLATION OF BRETHREN

In one of our Lutheran Confessions, The Smalcald Articles, Martin Luther talks about the different ways in which the Gospel gives us counsel and help.   Predictably he says, “Through the spoken Word…Secondly, through Baptism, Thirdly, through the holy Sacrament of the Altar, Fourthly through the power of the keys.”  And then Luther adds this neat little phrase:  “And also through the mutual conversation and consolation of brethren.” “The mutual conversation and consolation of brethren” is what happens when Christians…

GLEANINGS FROM GALATIANS

This week and next, our guest preacher, Pastor James Korthals, will focus on two texts from Paul’s letter to the Galatians.   Like Paul’s letter to the Romans, Galatians deals with the chief article of the Christian faith – justification by faith in Christ alone. But the tone of Galatians is far different than that of Romans.  The smoke of battle and the clatter of weaponry rise from the page.  Unlike Paul’s calmer and more studied approach in his letter to…

TABLE TALK

Amid the truly massive writings of Martin Luther there is one volume which is perhaps the most fun to read.  It’s the so-called Tischreden – the “Table Talk.”   As the name implies, the volume is a collection of things Luther said at his supper table.  Luther hosted children and university students, princes and preachers, peasants and professors at his table.  The conversations, as at any family table, ran the gamut – from the funny to the profound.  The famous…

“IT IS THE LORD CHRIST YOU ARE SERVING!”

Suppose Jesus asked you to sweep a floor.  Would you do it?  What kind of job would you do on that floor?  A sloppy job?  A really good job?  Why?  Suppose Jesus asked you to take out the garbage.  Would you do it?  Would you be grumpy or happy when you did it? Either way, why? You may recall that at the end of The Small Catechism, Martin Luther tacked on what he called “The Table of Duties.”  For husbands…

“I HAVE FOUND THE BOOK!”

The Bible tells us of good King Josiah in the waning days of the kingdom of Judah.  He has been called the Martin Luther of the Old Testament.  He got rid of the idols in the land and restored the worship of the one, true God. Somewhere amid all the remodeling, scrubbing and dusting, Hilkiah the High Priest makes an announcement:  “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord!” Imagine!  They had lost the…

IMMERSE? DUNK? DIP? POUR? SPRINKLE? SPLASH?

Sam and John argued over how baptism should be done.  Sam held out for immersion.  He said the person must be dunked all the way under the water. John argued that any method of applying the water was OK as long as it was a Christian baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   John said:  “So you would say that the water has to cover you even up to the ankles to make the baptism…
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