Imagine opening up your Lutheran Hymnal today to Hymn 655 LSB and singing these words –
Lord keep us steadfast in your Word
And curb the Turks and papists’ sword
Who Jesus Christ thine only Son
Fain would tumble off thy throne.
In a world were some Lutherans don’t even want to call God Father because they consider it sexist, this so called politically incorrect language seems harsh in our ears and there is a number of reasons for that. We forget today that Luther faced an existential threat from both those enemies. We forget that for Luther this was an end of the world face off and he would have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ and explain his action or inaction against these threats. We are the recipients of the gift of God’s grace restored by Luther and our cushy position of grace and mercy makes the old human nature feel secure and happy while the world continues to go to hell in the proverbial handbasket. We will have to stand before God’s throne and give an account of our lack of witness.
In trying to explain Luther’s courage, anger at foes, and absolute courage when faced with the threat of the whole political and theological world of his time, these words might help at a hint of understanding. “Our solace, boldness, self-confidence, security, victory, life, joy, our honor and glory are seated up there in person at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. Satan, we dare you to touch a single hair of his head. His name is and always will be Sheblimini [he who sits at God’s right hand, Ps. 110:1).”