“The Christmas Story as Retold by Martin Luther”
Rev. Paul E. Capetz
Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist),
Newport Beach December 22, 2019
Introduction: Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation in 1517 when he protested against the Catholic Church for fleecing the poor and gullible. His protest later turned into a more sustained theological critique of the Catholic Church for failing to preach the gospel correctly according to the New Testament. Luther was both a professor of theology and a monk who dared to challenge the pope and his interpretation of the Bible. When Luther broke with the Catholic Church, he left the monastery behind and married a former nun. By this daring act, they proclaimed that marriage was not a second-rate lifestyle for a Christian, inferior to the celibate lives of priests, monks, and nuns. Luther came from peasant stock and his sometimes coarse and unrefined language reflected his peasant background. John Wesley, the first Methodist, felt his heart “strangely warmed” upon hearing words of Luther read aloud at a church meeting in London. May your hearts, too, be strangely warmed, as you hear Luther retell the Christmas story.
Here are Luther’s Words1: Our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a line of ancestors that included some disreputable characters and some unsavory women we read about in the Old Testament. God holds before us this mirror of sinners that we may know that Christ is sent to sinners, and from sinners is willing to be born.