Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Mighty Fortress

Sundays during Lent I hope to write about some of the songs we sing during church services.  I hope to encourage you to think deeply about the songs we sing and further appreciate their meaning.

This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  On Halloween 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door at Wittenberg and challenged the corrupt church of his day to reform.  He, however, was not met by repentance but by threats and violence.  On May 4, 1521 Luther was given shelter by Elector Fredrerick the Wise at die Wartburg (the Wartburg Castle) in Eisenach, Germany.  While hidden away in Wartburg Castle Martin Luther worked tirelessly to translate the Bible from Latin into the vernacular of the people so the Germans could read the Scriptures for themselves.

It is this man, Luther, who was sheltered in a castle who wrote one of the hymns we sang this morning, "A Mighty Fortress is our God" or in German, "Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott."  In this hymn Luther looked at his circumstances and saw the greater heavenly truths at play.

"A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing."
The mighty fortress was not Wartburg Castle; it was God Himself.

"For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe.  His craft and power are great and armed with cruel hate.  On earth is not his equal."
The powerful ancient foe was not the papist trying to kill him; it was Satan himself who has no earthly equal.

"Were not the right Man on our side, a Man of God's own choosing."
The right man was not Elector Frederick the Wise; it was Wisdom incarnate, Jesus Christ.  "Doth ask who that may be, Christ Jesus it is He; Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle."

See, while Martin Luther was protected in Wartburg Castle by the lord of the castle he was protected by the Lord of lords in the Lord Himself who is our strong fortress.

Later on in the hymn Luther writes, "The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him."

And still later, "Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill, God's truth abideth still, His Kingdom is forever."

Luther realized what we must realize in times of trouble.  Even when we have protection and provision in front of us, we must realize the greater fortress in which we can abide.  And even if the enemy seems to have won, he hasn't.  The body they may kill, but God's truth abideth still.  God will not lose!  He won't lose for Luther and He won't lose for you.

Be encourage by they hymn "A Mighty Fortress is our God" today.

                                          (my photo of Wartburg Castle)
                                          (my photo of Luther's room at Wartburg Castle)
                                          (my photo of Wartburg Castle from a side)

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