An Eastertide Reflection from Martin Luther


From Concordia Academic blog.
LW 58: Selected Sermons V

LW 58: Selected Sermons V

Martin Luther’s preaching during Eastertide in 1544 and 1545 provided his listeners with four sermons on 1 Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter of St. Paul. “It would be better,” Luther wrote, “to give this season its due and, between Easter and Pentecost, for the instruction and comfort of the people, to give a thorough exposition of the article concerning both Christ’s resurrection and our own—that is, the resurrection of all the dead—on the basis of the preaching of the apostles, such as the fifteenth chapter of St. Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians, all of which deals with the resurrection of the dead” [WA 21:349–50]. The sermons emphasized the assurance of the general resurrection; the ways in which Christians can “read” nature and be assured of God’s miraculous power to bring life out of death; and the unity of Christ’s resurrection with the resurrection of Christians, which means Christ’s victory over death also belongs to Christians.

For your Eastertide reflection, the following is a condensed version of the third sermon, on 1 Cor. 15:51–53. Here Luther contrasts the “bearable” divine speech in the present preaching of the Word with the unbearable sounds of the Last Day: the shout of the angel and the trumpet of God. The Christian should always keep the Last Day in mind, Luther says, as they fulfill their vocations in the world faithfully, remembering the last trumpet while enjoying the “eating, drinking, good cheer, and happiness” that God grants as a benevolent Father—but not mocking God and the last judgment with security amid unrepentant sin.

The complete text of this sermon and the other three sermons on 1 Corinthians 15, including the detailed annotations not included here, are available in LW 58: Selected Sermons V. Click Luther’s Works for information on becoming a subscriber to the extension of the American Edition of Luther’s Works.

On the Last Trumpet of God

[1 Corinthians 15:51–53]
Translated by Mark E. DeGarmeaux

…It is fitting in this time after the Easter festival to preach and deal with the article concerning the resurrection, not only the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead for all our sakes, just as He also died for all our sakes, but also our own resurrection, so that we may be firmly grounded in faith and completely certain that our own body will come forth again and live. For the resurrection of Christ is of no use to us at all if we, for whose sake Christ rose again, do not follow after Him and rise again from the dead just as He did. But we will not be able to follow after Him and rise to life with Him unless we believe that His resurrection happened for our good. Neither will we believe it unless we preach about it continually and proclaim this article without ceasing, so that it may take root in our hearts. Continue reading. . .

Martin Luther’s Writings on the Web


Eventually, when you want to learn more about Lutheranism, you will want to read the work of Martin Luther. For those of us who don’t necessarily want to add the American edition of Luther’s Worksto the library, it is fortunate that a number of websites that have the writings of Martin Luther for the reading. Here are some I have found.

Martin Luther: Man Who Changed the World, CPH

• The first place to go to read Luther are his most beloved texts: the Small Catechism (sometimes called Luther’s Little Instruction Book) and the Large Catechism. These can be readily found  within the Book of Concord. You will also find here Luther’s Schmalkald Articles.

• Project Wittenberg is probably the most extensive and well-known on-line collection of Luther’s writings.

Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) page for Martin Luther mirrors some of Project Wittenberg content but also has a few more writings.

GodRules.net has a great collection of Luther’s sermons along with a few other writings.

The Internet Sacred Texts Collection features a collection of  nine of Luther’s sermons.

Two site of note don’t have content of their own, but point to primary source document elsewhere on the Web:

• The Lutheran Theology Website has a great list of links to Luther’s writings as well as tons of great information.

Beggars All has aggregated a great list of Luther’s writings.

Did I miss a site with a nice collection of Luther’s works?