Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy 529th Birthday Martin Luther

Birthday of Martin Luther, 1483
Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Lord be with you

Martin Luther’s birthday isn’t actually on our liturgical calendar. As far as I know, it isn’t on any official liturgical calendar. No doubt this is because most of the dates commemorated are death dates, that is, when we are “born” into heaven. This was a much easier date to acquire as well. However, in recent centuries, birthdays have grown in importance and better records are kept.

If Martin Luther was alive today, he would be a spry 529 years old. The cake alone would set off the smoke detector in his home.

The main reason for this post is simply to say, “Happy Birthday, Martin,” and to thank God for the blessing he was to the Communion of Saints. The date he is actually commemorated is February 18, the anniversary of his death. I put up a short post concerning him back then. You can find it by clicking here.

You may be interested in knowing why Martin Luther was named “Martin.” Before the age of modern medicine, child mortality rates were high. After the birth of a child, to ensure their spiritual security, they were typically baptized on the following day. This is exactly what Hans and Margarette Luther did with their newborn. As was the custom of the day, the child was given the name of the saint that was commemorated that day. (In those days most days had multiple names to choose from.) Luther was baptized on November 11, which is the Commemoration of St. Martin of Tours, and so was named Martin. To learn a bit more about this saint, see tomorrow’s post.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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