Stick to the Story

When preaching on the festival of the Annunciation of Mary, one should stick to the story, so that we may celebrate the incarnation of Christ, rejoice that we were made his brethren, and be glad that he who fills heaven and earth is in the womb of the maiden. Disputations stand in the way of joy because they bring forth doubts, and these produce sorrow, just as if the girl had not rejoiced until she knew that she was promised in marriage and her doubt vanished. Therefore, I hate Erasmus from the bottom of my heart because he calls into question what ought to be our joy. Bernard filled a whole sermon with praise of the Virgin Mary and in so doing forgot to mention what happened; so highly did he and Anselm esteem Mary. But a Christian puts the questions aside and occupies himself with the effects of the the incarnation. The incarnation, therefore, should be held high. Mary can’t be sufficiently praised as a creature, but that the Creator himself comes to us and becomes our ransom—this is the reason for our rejoicing. I don’t think the story can be told more simply than it was by Luke. Nobody could have invented the word ‘sent.’

—Martin Luther

Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012 by Pastor Jerry Owen