Sermon on Luther

I gave my sermon at church this morning!  Today is Reformation Sunday, so I preached about Martin Luther.  I was really nervous before the sermon.  Now that it’s over and done with, I’m not sure how I feel.  Am I giddy about having done a good job?  Am I thinking that maybe I didn’t do so good of a job?  Probably a mixture of the two.  One thing is clear: I’m glad it’s over, at least for now (since I may preach in the future)!  Tomorrow, I’ll probably come down to earth from out of my cloud and perform the deeds of my day-to-day life.

One lady told me that I did well, but I needed to speak more slowly.  She’s probably correct about that.  I spoke as quickly as I did because I was nervous, and also because I wanted to get in as much as I could.  (In practicing my sermon, I went overtime a couple of times.)  But my sermon might have been better had I done it as I practiced it last night: being slow and methodical in my speaking.

Someone else was thanking me because of what she got out of my sermon: about Luther’s life, the politics involved in the Reformation on both the Catholic and Protestant sides, the fact that both Catholics and Protestants did good and bad things, and Luther’s anti-Jewish writings.  As she remarked, we all have feet of clay.  Yet, as I was saying in my sermon, God is assuring us of God’s love.  I appreciated her feedback because it showed me that I got my points across.  I was revising my sermon as late as last night, for I felt that some of my sermon was historical obscurantism that the congregation may not find particularly interesting, plus I thought that I should attach some of my points to a spiritual lesson rather than leaving them hanging as mere historical facts.  I’m glad that my work on this was fruitful, on some level.

Someone else, a seventh grader, was telling me that he was learning about Martin Luther in school.  I found that to be cool.  I remember when I learned about Luther in my ninth grade World History class.  The teacher was saying that Luther did not sign the Ninety-Five theses with “the Phantom,” but he was putting his name to his complaints and challenges against the Catholic church!

Anyway, I’ll be happy to listen to someone else give the sermon next week!

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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5 Responses to Sermon on Luther

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Lothar’s son! Actually, my sermon overlapped with what your post was saying, even though I had not yet read your post when writing my sermon. One difference is that you appeal to the example of the Anabaptists, whereas I pointed out that Luther initially promoted kindness to the Jews, but we made a lot of the same points. And important points they are!


  2. lotharson says:

    Luther was a divine determinist and this was probably his greatest sin. Like Augustine and Calvin, he believed that God predetermined most people to eternally suffer in hell.

    I could not think of a worst blasphemy.


  3. I remember when, as an early teenager, I discovered Luther by reading a Moody paperback I bought new for about 35 cents.

    I was amazed! Before that, I guess I just assumed my fundamentalist church was a direct product of the work of the Apostles in the New Testament.


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