Luther’s Christmas Sermons: Herod, Wise Men, and the Presentation, pt.1

This Tuesday we are wrapping up Martin Luther’s Christmas Book. Please read the final three sermons on “Herod,” “Wise Men,” and “The Presentation.”  When Luther speaks to us about the Wise Men he continues with his themes of faith and humility. For the Wise Men, their faith and humility led them to leave their homes and journey afar.  More specifically, however, their faith and humility caused them to follow the prophecy of Micah and to leave the splendor of Herod’s Palace and the glory of the Temple in Jerusalem to journey to a small back-water town, and to find a king in a cow stall. As Luther says, “Here the Evangelist shows us the true nature of faith, how they believed simply what they had not seen and held fast to the Word.”

As you read the sermon, focus on Luther’s application of how we should apply the Wise Men’s faith.  Unlike the Wise Men, we are too often drawn to the glitter and power of the Palace and the Temple and are repelled by the lowliness of the stable and the people there.  Drawing on Isaiah 66:1-2, Luther tells us that “If we Christians would join the Wise Men, we must close our eyes to all that glitters before the world and look rather on the despised and foolish things, help the poor, comfort the despised, and aid the neighbor in need.”  We should not build churches of wood and stone, but build up the spiritual temples of going to the least of these. (p.59)  In this Christmas season, Christ isn’t found in the glory of our places of worship but in the lowly and despised that we lift up.

Dinner is at 6. The menu is pizza. Discussion about 6:45. Hope to see you here. 

  • This Sunday (tomorrow) is our family Christmas drop-in from 5-8. All are invited.
  • Next  Tuesday (December 19) is our small group Christmas party.  Please bring your favorite hors d’oeuvres and a $5-15 gift for the gift exchange.

Thus said the Lord;
The heaven is my throne
And the earth is my footstool:
Where could you build a house for Me,
What place could serve as My abode?
All this was made by My hand,
And thus it all came into being.

Yet to such a one I look:
To the poor and broken-hearted,
Who is concerned about My word.

Isaiah 66:1-2

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