Greetings in Christ,
On this day, in the early morning hours, Martin Luther died not far from the house where he had been born. As he struggled with the pain and fear he was asked, “Do you want to die standing firm on Christ and the doctrine you have taught?” Luther responded in a loud voice, “Ja!” dying a few moments later. His life long journey of faith had come to its end and Luther died trusting in Jesus.
There are times when we Lutherans might be accused of being obsessed with death. It may seem that way, especially in a culture that tries to minimize the reality of death, but we as Lutheran Christians are committed to the witness of our Lord Jesus risen from the dead. We don’t obsess about death, but we do not pretend it isn’t real.
To live as a Christian may mean many different things as we seek to follow our Lord. The vast majority of those are good and useful things, showing love and mercy to the neighbor. However good and useful those may be, the core of our faith is centered in the death and resurrection of our Lord and our being joined to that truth through Holy Baptism. We live out our lives saying, ‘yes’ to the Lordship of Jesus in every circumstance of life and, like Martin Luther, in the face of our own death.
It is this great confidence we have in our Lord that leads us to be bold in our witness to Him, out of deep gratitude for our salvation as we share the Good News with all.