Luther on Preaching

The following thoughts by Martin Luther are his response to reading I Corinthians 1:17,  “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Martin Luther

“The spiritual tyrants despised and underestimated the office of preaching and made a great separation between it and the spiritual government, even though it is the highest office, on which all others depend and from which all others depend and from which they follow.  On the other hand, where there is no office of preaching, none of the other offices follow.  For John says, John 4:2) that Jesus did not baptize, he only to baptize but to preach.

Therefore, whoever has the office of preaching imposed on him has the highest office in Christendom imposed on him has the highest office in Christendom imposed on him. Afterward he may also baptize celebrate mass, and exercise pastoral care; or, if he does not wish to do so, he may confine himself to preaching and leave baptizing and other lower offices to others – as Christ and all the apostles did.”

My reflection:  My own basic thought on preaching  is that Sunday morning is the most important day of the week for a Christian congregation.  Sunday morning is the one time during the week when the members of the congregation get cleaned up and gather in one location.  They come from a week of getting worn down by trying to live as Christ’s people. in a world that does not live by grace.

This is the opportunity for the pastor to once again show how Christ is the center of not only their lives but of the whole universe.  Sunday morning is not the time for the pastor to show off or put himself at the center, but to use his skills to show Christ crucified and risen.  Sunday morning is not the time for the pastor to be an entertainer, but to entertain  how to the people the gospel and how it fits into the lives and can get them through another week.

 

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