Tuesday, October 30, 2018
2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
A HAMMER FOR MARTIN
On October 19, Dr. Martin Luther came down the steps of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He was met by a cheering throng of monks and students, and carried on their shoulders through the streets of the city. The large town bell was rung with vigor. The year was 1512. This momentous day in Luther's life was five Octobers before he nailed the 95 Theses to the door of that same church. But when he came down those church steps on October 31, 1517, while there were plenty of people in the streets, few took notice of the posting he had just made. It was different when Luther received his Doctor of Theology degree in 1512. For the doctor's title was as highly regarded by the students in those days as the accomplishments of a quarterback is on some campuses today.
Over 500 years later we do well to remember this day in Martin Luther's life, for God's hand is evident as the 29 year-old monk becomes a Doctor of the Bible. (He would begin his lectures on the Scriptures within a week.) While Luther did not yet really understand the Gospel, God had put the hammer of His Word (Jeremiah 23:29) in Martin's hand. And when Dr. Luther took an oath of loyalty to Holy Scripture on October 19, 1512, God set him on a path that would bring him back to the Castle Church on October 31, 1517 -- with another hammer in his hand.
We observe with celebration Luther's wielding of the hammer with which he nailed up the 95 Theses. With hearts thankful to God let us also remember the day He placed the hammer of His Word in Martin's hand. On that day our Lord's concern was not only for one troubled monk and his relationship with his God, but for countless people like you and me as well. Through Luther's study of His Word God would cause the Gospel message of a Savior crucified for sin and risen again to be proclaimed in all its purity and power.
O God, our Lord, Thy holy Word Was long a hidden treasure
Till to its place it was by grace Restored in fullest measure.
For this today our thanks we say And gladly glorify Thee.
Thy mercy show and grace bestow On all who still deny Thee.
(The Lutheran Hymnal, 266:1)