For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God. 1 Peter 1:23
Willie Mae, 72, has one dream: learning to read. Willie worked in the cotton fields from the age of eight. With long seasons of planting and harvesting she never finished school, her family desperately trying to survive as sharecroppers. But many years later, she wants to open the most important book she owns and read it. “I go to church Sundays,” says Willie Mae, “but I need me some regular time with God.”
In an age when Bibles are available in hundreds of versions, languages, and motel rooms, it can be difficult to remember the magnificent gift Martin Luther’s work of translation gave the world. While we reflect on the renowned reformer, it is good to remember his gift of the Bible—in the people’s language. In Luther’s time, lay people, literate or not, did not own Bibles. The Word was read only at church (and in Latin).
For Luther, torn by his sinfulness, God’s Holy Word was the only way to salvation: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
During Lent, I commit myself to Willie Mae’s determination and Martin Luther’s dedication to the Bible for Luther was determined to get God’s Word to the people: “Nothing is more effectual against the devil, the world, the flesh, and all evil thoughts, than to occupy oneself [daily] with the Word of God.”
Prayer: “May Christ our Lord help us by His Spirit to love and honor His holy Word with all our hearts. Amen. (Martin Luther)
Response: Memorize Luther’s faith verse: Ephesians 2:8-9.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)
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