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Posts Tagged ‘Luther’s Seal’

There was a rock station yesterday giving away a free divorce for Valentine’s Day   and Planned Parenthood encouragesabortions for Valentine’s Day, or as the President said in support of abortion, no woman should be punished for having a child.   The morning after Valentine’s Day might include the “morning after” pill to stop gestation, or ‘freedom’ from one’s spouse by yet another divorce or a stranger in bed after a “hook-up”. What has become of love and marriage, or is it marriage and then love?  For a solid reflection on that question read Chad Bird’s article in The Federalist, “Giving Away a Divorce on Valentine’s Day”.  Valentine’s Day is a far cry from the little known Saint Valentine.

Someone wrote a graffiti, “Love is Enough” and another person wrote, “No, it’s not”…especially the way “love” is understood these days as only lust.  The Gospel lesson for tomorrow, the 6th Sunday after Epiphany, includes Matthew 5:26-28.  Jesus goes to the heart, the will. As the country lyric has it correctly about himself and us all: “I’ve looked for love in all the wrong places”.  There  is only person and place to look for the meaning of love and His Name is Jesus Christ and the place is His Cross.  Luther’s Seal may be the best Valentine’s Day card: His Cross in our hearts killing sin, hence, black, but making our hearts alive and beating.  Love for loveless shown. Luther also wrote that ring around it is gold, the color of heaven, but it is also the color of a wedding ring, complete with the purity of a white rose.  He can make the foulest clean.  Hear His Word and receive His Sacrament tomorrow on the Lord’s Day. A blessed morning after Valentine’s Day!

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From the Wikipedia article:  The Luther seal or Luther rose is a widely-recognized symbol for Lutheranism. It was theseal that was designed for Martin Luther at the behest of Prince John Frederick, in 1530, while Luther was staying at the Coburg Fortress during the Diet of AugsburgLazarus Spengler, to whom Luther wrote his interpretation below, sent Luther a drawing of this seal. Luther saw it as a compendium or expression of his theology and faith, which he used to authorize his correspondence. Luther informed Philipp Melanchthon on September 15, 1530 that the Prince had personally visited him in the Coburg fortress and presented him with asignet ring, presumably displaying the seal.

Letter by Dr. Luther,  sent from Coburg Castle to Lazarus Spengler. July 8 1530, describing Luther’s Rose or Seal:

“Grace and peace from the Lord. As you desire to know whether my painted seal, which you sent to me, has hit the mark, I shall answer most amiably and tell you my original thoughts and reason about why my seal is a symbol of my theology. The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural color, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. ‘For one who believes from the heart will be justified’ (Rom. 10:10). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural color. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. ‘The just shall live by faith’ (Rom. 1:17) but by faith in the crucified. Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the color of the spirits and the angels (cf. Matthew 28:3John 20:12). Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed. And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal. This is my compendium theoligae[summary of theology]. I have wanted to show it to you in good friendship, hoping for your appreciation. May Christ, our beloved Lord, be with your spirit until the life hereafter. Amen. 

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