“See, such great things are contained in these seemingly unimportant words, ‘Behold, thy king.’ Such boundless gifts are brought by this poor and despised king. All this reason does not understand, nor nature comprehend, but faith alone does. Therefore, he is called your king; yours, who are vexed and harassed by sin, Satan, death and hell, the flesh, and the world, so that you may be governed and directed in the grace, in the spirit, in life, in heaven, in God” (5).
“This is what is meant by ‘Thy king cometh.’ You do not seek him, but he seeks you. You do not find him, he finds you” (7).
“If, here upon earth, the body is unwilling, not capable of grace and Christ’s leading, it must bear the Spirit, upon which Christ rides, who trains it and leads it along by the power of grace, received through Christ. The colt, ridden by Christ, upon which no one ever rode, is the willing spirit, whom no one before could make willing, tame, or ready, save Christ by his grace” (28).
“Faith receives the good works of Christ; love bestows good works on our neighbor” (71).
“When they [Mary and Joseph] arrived at Bethlehem, they were the most insignificant and despised…. No one noticed or was conscious of what God was doing in that stable. He lets the large houses and costly apartments remain empty, lets their inhabitants eat, drink, and be merry; but this comfort and treasure are hidden from them. O what a dark night this was for Bethlehem, that was not conscious of that glorious light! See how God shows that he utterly disregards what the world is, has, or desires; and furthermore, that the world shows how little it knows or notices what God is, has, and does.” (94)
“When we look at this birth, and reflect upon how the sublime Majesty moves with great earnestness and inexpressible love and goodness upon the flesh and blood of this virgin, we see how here all evil lust and every evil thought is banished.” (96)
“We see here how Christ, as it were, takes our birth from us and absorbs it in his birth, and grants us his, that in it we might become pure and holy, as if it were our own, so that every Christian may rejoice and glory in Christ’s birth as much as if he had himself been born of Mary as was Christ.” (98)
“That there were shepherds, means that no one is to hear the Gospel for himself alone, but everyone is to tell it to others who are not acquainted with it. For he who believes for himself has enough and should endeavor to bring others to such faith and knowledge, so that one may be a shepherd of the other, to wait upon and lead him into the pasture of the Gospel in this world, during the nighttime of this earthly life.” (106)
“Thus Christ has always been the Life and Light, even before his birth, from the beginning, and will ever remain so to the end. He shines at all times in all creatures, in the holy Scriptures, through his saints, prophets, and ministers, in his word and works; and he has never ceased to shine. But in whatever place he has shone, there was great darkness, and the darkness apprehended him not.” (133)
“Through the Gospel this light is brought to us, not from a distance, nor do we need to go far to obtain it; it is very near us and shines in our hearts” (135).
For more information about Martin Luther’s Sermons for Advent and Christmas, visit our website!