“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (Luke 2:1-20)

The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24, 2017

“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” (Luke 2:1-20)

For our Christmas Eve homily tonight, I thought I’d let Luther lead the way. This is the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, after all, and Martin Luther wrote and preached much on the wonder and the mystery of Christ’s birth. It was a favorite theme of his. So tonight we’ll use Luther’s great Christmas hymn, “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” as the basis for our meditation. You’ll find it as Hymn 358 in your Lutheran Service Book.


Published in: on December 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

Circuit Pastors’ Conference
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

“Born a Priest, Made a Pastor” (Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16)

Today is Martin Luther’s birthday. He’s 532 today, although I’d say he doesn’t look a day over 490. Yes, it was on this day, November 10, in the year 1483, that Hans and Margaretha Luther had a baby boy, in the town of Eisleben, Saxony. The next day, November 11, that little squirming baby was taken to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, there in Eisleben, and he was baptized. Since it was November 11, the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, the boy was given the name Martin. Martin Luther, born November 10, baptized November 11, 1483.

So maybe we should be celebrating his birthday tomorrow, on the day he was baptized. For that was the day he was born again, born from above, born of water and the Spirit. That was the day he was given a name, not just the name Martin, but more importantly, the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The triune God placed his name on this child and claimed him as his own. On that day, his baptismal day, little Martin was called into the kingdom and became a priest.

“What?” you say. “I thought Martin Luther didn’t become a priest until much later.” Well, yes and no. Martin Luther was made a pastor, an ordained minister, many years later, as an adult. But he became a priest on the day he was baptized. And you know what? So did you. For every Christian is born a priest in Holy Baptism. And out of that priesthood of the baptized, some are later called to be pastors. So our theme this morning: “Born a Priest, Made a Pastor.”


Published in: on November 10, 2015 at 4:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“‘Fear God and Give Him the Glory!’: The Slogan of the Lutheran Church Reformation” (Revelation 14:6-7)

Reformation Day (Observed)
Sunday, October 30, 2011

“Fear God and Give Him the Glory!”: The Slogan of the Lutheran Church Reformation
Reformation Festival Sermon on Revelation 14:6-7 by C. F. W. Walther (1881)
Translated by Joel Baseley. Abridged by Charles Henrickson.

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, all the earth is full of your glory.” This we cry out today, O Lord our God, along with the cherubim and seraphim. For today we remember the glorious work of the Reformation of the church, which you began and gloriously brought to completion in the sixteenth century. Your glory had been taken from the very midst of your church, the glory that you alone are wise and just, and that you have given this glory to man. But behold! You then awakened your servant, Luther, revealed to him that he was by nature a poor, blind, dead, and lost sinner, and yet, at the same time, brought him to the living knowledge that your Word alone is the saving truth and your grace alone, the way to salvation. You restored your glory unto your church again through his faithful service. Oh, so lend us also your aid today that we render you solemn acknowledgment of this, so that by it we remain steadfast in your truth and finally be saved by your grace alone. Yes, do help us for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our only Savior. Amen.

Our text is Revelation 14:6-7: “Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.’”


Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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