There is always the refrain about “doing something”.  We send people to Washington to do something.  Something bad happens somewhere and the government should do something.  These calls for action are not always thought out well.  Usually something needs to be done because someone called someone to do something in the first place.

There is an interesting quote from Luther that is ubiquitous.  It is mentioned in a sermon and in a note someone made at Luther’s dining table that while he and Amsdorf and Melancthon drank beer the Lord smote the papacy a mighty blow.  It had to do with the preaching and the power of the world of course, and how God uses human beings as weak as they are to do his mighty saving work. They may be running around like chickens with their heads cut off and yet God is the one doing the work.  Elijah in the cave comes to mind.

The real nature of what Luther was talking about was the nature of change and reform.  Human beings will rush to “do something” tear something down, change this or change that and the deeper issue is that it usually denoted a lack of trust in God alone.  Here is the full quote –

Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit wine and abolish women? The sun, the moon, and stars have been worshiped. Shall we then pluck them out of the sky? Such haste and violence betray a lack of confidence in God. See how much he has been able to accomplish through me, though I did no more than pray and preach. The Word did it all. Had I wished I might have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip [Melanchthon] and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.

 

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