The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/24/2005):

Whose Savior Is He?
Did you know that during his lifetime Martin Luther delivered close to 5,000 sermons, over sixty of which were preached on Luke 2 and John 1? Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE includes several short excerpts from Luther’s sermon on the announcement of the angel, “To you a Savior is born today.”

Examine yourself and see whether you are a Christian! If you can sing: “The Son, who is proclaimed to be a Lord and Savior, is my Savior”; and if you can confirm the message of the angel and say yes to it and believe it in your heart, then your heart will be filled with assurance and joy and confidence, and you will not worry about even the costliest and best that the world has to offer.

. . . You see how a person rejoices when receiving a robe or ten guldens. But how many are there who shout and jump for joy when they hear the message of the angel: “To you the Savior is born today”? Indeed, the majority look upon it as a sermon that must preached, and when they have heard it, consider it a trifling thing, and go away just as they were before.

. . . 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 Savior, that you accept this and give thanks to God, who so loved you that he gave you a Savior who is yours. And for a sign he sent the angel form heaven to proclaim him, in order that nothing else should be preached except that this child is the Savior and far better than heaven and earth. Him, therefore, we should acknowledge and accept; confess him as our Savior in every need, call upon him, and never doubt that he will save us from all misfortune. Amen.

—Martin Luther (1483-1546), from PROCLAIMING THE CHRISTMAS GOSPEL: ANCIENT SERMONS AND HYMNS FOR CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATION. Edited by John D. Witvliet and David Vroege. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004, pages 112-13. ISBN 0-8010-6405-8

“Let every heart prepare Him room.”
May you have a truly blessed Christmas observance.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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