Pastor Ted’s “Luther at 500 Epistle”
Visiting Wittenberg in Germany—for the International Luther Congress of 2017–is almost like a pilgrimage. The town is alive with music in the city hall square, with bands and choirs belting out Martin Luther’s hymns. Pictures of Marty and Katie Luther appear on tee shirts, beer mugs, and wine bottles. Karen and I worshipped at the Castle Church, the very chapel where Martin Luther nailed up his “95 Theses” on October 31, 1517. We were just in time to see…is it Marty himself?…at the lectern.
Inside the Stadtkirche (this City Church is the Mother Church of the Reformation) in Wittenberg is this painting called the “Predella.” This is my favorite Reformation painting. It shows Martin Luther preaching to the farmers and townspeople. He points us all to the center of God’s Word, to Jesus Christ. This is how each of us should live everyday: our very lives should point to Christ.
Martin Luther’s House
It was exciting for Karen and me to enjoy the closing banquet of the 2017 Luther Congress in the very house where Marty and Katie lived in Wittenberg. With all their children along with students and drop-in guests, the converted Augustinian monastery was where the action was. Here’s a statue of Katie–a most admirable person–with one of her contemporary admirers, Karen. The man in the blue suit is from Sweden; he is the man called Ove (really Ove!).
Karen at door of Luther’s house, Katie and Karen, plus the man in the blue suit.]
The First Built Lutheran Church
The first church built specifically as a “Lutheran” church is the chapel at the Elector’s Castle in the small town of Torgau in 1544. Prior to this time, Lutherans worshiped in renovate Roman Catholic churches. Note how the pulpit sits in the middle of the congregation rather than in the front. This emphasizes the importance of God’s Word in the midst of God’s people.