I took the picture above in Oppenheim, Germany. Tradition says the protestant reformer Martin Luther wrote the famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, there. And it was probable that he was looking at this fortress on a hill, in the small town, during his stay there. It was said that Luther was staying in an Inn in the village, and was invited to the fortress to talk with a Catholic official. Luther was suspicious about the meeting and refused to attend.
Before I visited Oppenheim, I was able to visit the town of Worms where Luther took his famous stand against oppressive spiritual darkness in the Church. He stayed in Worms for ten days and that visit has impacted the world, to this day. The stand he took for the truth of God’s word, was an act of spiritual warfare of cosmic proportions. He felt as if he was battling Satan himself, and I’m sure he was. While I certainly wouldn’t agree on everything Luther taught, I’ve often wondered, where are the Luther’s today? Are we willing to take a stand for the truth against overwhelming opposition?
(A bust of Martin Luther in Worms, Germany.)
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.