Epiphany is the time we see God’s glory shining in the face of Christ and are called to remember that he came for us to be our Savior and have mercy on us and grant us salvation. But Lutheran believe God’s glory is shown on a bloody cross. We live in a world that wants forgiveness but not a recognition of sin, and want salvation but not the cross.
There was a phrase that Luther used a lot and it may be hard to get a good translation. I have heard people say “phooey on you” and I know what they mean. Luther used the words “pfui dich” to describe the religious leaders mocking Jesus as he hung on the cross. It means “yuck”, or “shame on you”. So Luther translates ”
“Yuck, Shame on you! Look how well you destroy the temple and build it in three days! Now help yourself and get down from the cross!”
But he used it in sermons as well – he looked at a congregation and said “It says in the Bible: “A virgin shall bear a son.”And he will be mine just as surely as ten guilders someone might give me. How shall we not believe this, when all the prophets have borne witness [to it]? And now we have the gift, and we still don’t believe. Yuck! Shame on you! We are not worthy of hearing one word about him!
Tough stuff that.