google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Christmas 2015 - 14 - Martin Luther

Christmas 2015 - Ancient Voices

Sermon on the Afternoon of Christmas Day 1530
Martin Luther
Part 4 of 4

You can see what our papists and Junkers, who have chosen innumerable Saviours, have felt about this faith. Indeed, the papists still want to retain the mass, the invocation of saints, and their invented works by which we are to be saved. This is as much as to say, I do not believe in the Saviour and Lord whom Mary bore; and yet they sing the words of the angel, hold their triple masses [at Christmas] and play their organs. They speak the words with their tongues but their heart has another Saviour.

The same is true in the monasteries: if you want to be saved, remember to keep the rule and regulations of Francis and you will have a gracious God! And at the Diet of Augsburg they decided to stick to this. In the name of all of the devils, let them stick there! It has been said sufficiently that this Saviour lies in the manger.

But if there is any other thing that saves me, then I rightly call it my Saviour. If the sun, moon, and stars save, I can call them Saviours. If St. Bartholomew or St Anthony or a pilgrimage to St. James or good works save, then they surely are my Saviour. If St. Francis, then he is my Saviour. But then what is left of the honor of the child who was born this day, whom the angel calls Lord and Saviour, and who wants to keep his name, which is Saviour and Christ the Lord. If I set up any Saviour except this child, no matter who or what it is or is called, then he is not the Saviour. But the text says that he is the Saviour. And if this is true—and it is the truth—then let everything else go.

One who hears the message of the angel and believes it will be filled with fear, like the shepherds. True, it is too high for me to believe that I should come into this treasure without any merit on my part. And yet, so it must be. In the papacy this message was not preached in the pulpit, and I am afraid that it will disappear again. It was the other message that the devil initiated and has allowed to remain in the papacy. All their hymns are to this effect. Among the Turks the devil has completely wiped it out. Therefore, remember it, sing it, and learn it, while there is still time! I fear that the time will come when we shall not be allowed to hear, believe, and sing this message in public, and the time has already come when it is no longer understood; though Satan does not allow it to be spoken with the mouth, as the papists do.

But when it comes to declaring that he is born for you and to singing:

In dulci jubilo

Now sing with hearts aglow!
Our delight and pleasure
Lies in praesepio
Like sunshine is our treasure
Matris in gremio
Alpha est et O!
—this he is unwilling to allow.

What we have said, then, has been about that second faith, which is not only to believe in Mary’s Son, but rather that he who lies in the virgin’s lap is our Saviour, that you accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Saviour who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel from heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Saviour and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Saviour in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen.

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