Luther’s Baptismal Birthday

Today, 527 years ago, Luther was baptized, and given the name of St. Martin of Tours, whose feast day it is. 

Accordingly, curses will not be lacking.  But go forth to face them more boldly, be strong, and cling steadfastly to the blessing, no matter how much everything seems to be full of a curse.  For this is what we should conclude: It is sure that I have been baptized.  I have heard the Word from the mouth of the minister.  I have made use of the Sacrament of the Altar.  This is the divine and unchangeable truth.  Even though I am weak, it is sure and unalterable.  They are exceedingly powerful and rich possessions, but the heart is slippery and vacillating when taking hold of them.  But we should not deny them.  This is the only thing against which we should be on our guard.  And if we are unable to confess with a loud shout, let us at least make ourselves heard in a low murmur as best we can.  If we cannot sing when we praise God, let us at least open our mouths, in order that we may continue steadfastly in the blessings into which the Son of God has placed us–the blessings which cannot be kept without a great struggle and trials of various kinds.  For in this manner the fathers had sure and firm blessings, but not without a trial.  And for this reason Christ so assiduously exhorts us to persevere.  “By your endurance you will gain your lives” (Luke 21:19).  You are children of the kingdom, your sins are forgiven, the devil has been overcome and laid low under your feet, sin and death will do you no harm; but you are blameless.  Therefore bear the hostile curses with equanimity.  … One Christian who has been tried does more good than a hundred who have not been tried.  For in trials the blessing grows, so that with its counsel it can teach, comfort, and help many in physical and spiritual matters.  Thus in the world you are cursed, but at the same time you are filled with a heavenly blessing.  [Luther’s Works (American Edition), vol. 5, 145-146]



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