St. Mary’s Wittenberg Germany

Martin Luther was married here, baptized his children here, and preached here. It’s also an interesting church with an altarpiece by Cranach and some medieval sculptured reliefs.

Luther had some specific ideas about preaching and what it should sound like.  The church was a “mouth house” he said and the most important thing was the hearing of the Gospel.  The simpler the better – here is his advice to some guy named Bernard.

 Cursed be every preacher who aims at lofty topics in the church, looking for his glory and selfishly desiring to please one individual or another. When I preach here [in Wittenberg], I adapt myself to the circumstances of the common people. I don’t look at the doctors and masters, of whom scarcely forty are present, but I look at the hundred or the thousand young people and children. It’s to them that I devote myself, for they, too, need to understand. If the others don’t want to listen they can leave. Therefore, my dear Bernard, take pains to be simple and direct; don’t consider those who claim to be learned but be a preacher to the unschooled youth and suckling.  Luther